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UNESCO General History of Africa, Vol. IV, Abridged Edition: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century Paperback – Abridged, May 10, 1998

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Product Details

  • Series: UNESCO General History of Africa (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 277 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; Abridged edition (May 10, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520066995
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520066991
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This edition, possible due to translation, is horribly written. There is no flow and lucidity is next to nothing. However, being that there is so little out there that discusses African history in such detail from non-Europeans, this book remains important.

It is informative for those already well read on the subject, but useless for anyone else. Even those well read will be disturbed by the poor presentation. There is also the issue that just because the editors are not European is doesnt mean the text does not pay homage to Eurocentric values. It does so in many cases as well as the Arabcentric values inherent in the Islamic faith that is so popular amoung Africa's scholars. Such attitudes are evident in descriptions of African kingdoms having some sort of non-indeginous lineage (a common practice by Islamic converts attempting to validate a Moslem heritage)and the disregard for indeginous African religions. Even age old faiths such as Ifa are reduced to the term "cult".

With this aside, the text has its usefullness in a world where little has been done in the field of African historical research that has been outside of the excesses of Eurocentric or Afrocentric procedures.
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