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Sovereignty and Struggle

Africa and Africans in the Era of the Cold War, 1945-1994

Jonathan T. Reynolds

Publication Date - 18 November 2014

ISBN: 9780199915125

152 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock

The African World Histories series enriches the study of African history by providing an indigenous, problems-based perspective on the past


Sovereignty and Struggle: Africa and Africans in the Era of the Cold War, 1945-1994 provides students with a deeper insight into African history during the period of decolonization and the Cold War. Examining Africa and Africans in the context of the global themes of liberation, economic development, and popular culture, author Jonathan T. Reynolds illustrates how Africans sought to define their own lives on a global stage.

The first three chapters of Sovereignty and Struggle offer a thematic approach, covering the politics of early liberation struggles, economics, and global Cold War complexities. They provide students with insight into the motivations and aspirations of Africans from around the continent during the Cold War period. The last two chapters focus on pop culture--music, nation building, and identity--and specifically on popular representations of mobility, modernity, and sovereignty in Ghana during the 1950s and 1960s.

About the Author(s)

Jonathan T. Reynolds is Professor of History at Northern Kentucky University. He is the coauthor, with Erik T. Gilbert, of Africa in World History: From Prehistory to the Present (2011), Trading Tastes: Culture and Commodity to 1750 (2005), and the forthcoming World History survey text World in Motion: A Dynamic History of Humankind.


"This is a fantastic little book. It is smart, engaging, and thought-provoking in its coverage of sovereignty--and its many possibilities and variations--in Cold War era Africa. I particularly appreciate its efforts to move beyond well-trodden discussions of political and economic developments and to look at the various ways in which sovereignty was marketed, performed, defined, and embraced in 'unofficial' realms like the stage, newspapers, and airplanes. It is very well-conceived and carried out."--Nate Plageman, Wake Forest University

"The focus on decolonization, the debt crisis, and new cultural expressions and music will help students to appreciate the complex nature of Africa's relation with the external world. Reynolds is able to maintain a strong balance between the impact of the Cold War on Africa and how Africans responded."--Saheed Aderinto, Western Carolina University

"Jonathan Reynolds has created another fine work relating to Africa and its peoples. He does an outstanding job exploring the relationship between Africa and the Cold War, and brings Pan-Africanism, women, and music effectively into the conversation."--Kenneth Wilburn, East Carolina University

Table of Contents

    Maps and Figures
    About the Author

    Series Introduction


    Chapter 1. A World Set Free? African Decolonization In The Era of Liberation
    Chapter 2. Development and Debt
    Chapter 3. A Tropical Cold War
    Chapter 4. Cultural Epicureanism: Music, Morality, and the African Nation
    Chapter 5. The Decolonization of Distance: Ghana Enters the Jet Age


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