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Published: 22 March 2007

184 Pages | 29 halftones, 4 maps


ISBN: 9780192802484

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African History: A Very Short Introduction

John Parker and Richard Rathbone

Very Short Introductions

  • There is no other short book that explains African history and historiography.
  • Concrete histories and stories are used to build a picture of both the continent's past and how that past has been interpreted in Africa and beyond.
  • Africa has been known as 'the cradle of mankind', and its recoverable history stretches back to the Pharoahs. But the idea of study of 'African history' itself is new, and the authors show why it is still contested and controversial.
  • Important themes include the unity and diversity of African cultures, slavery, religion, colonial conquest, the diaspora, and the importance of history in understanding contemporary Africa.
  • Examines questions such as: Who invented the idea of 'Africa'? How is African history pieced together, given such a lack of documentary evidence? How did Africa interact with the world 1,000 years ago?