Drawing on many years of African experience, John Reader has written a book of startling grandeur and scope that recreates the great panorama of African history, from the primeval cataclysms that formed the continent to the political upheavals facing much of the continent today. Reader tells the extraordinary story of humankind's adaptation to the ferocious obstacles of forest, river and desert, and to the threat of debilitating parasites, bacteria and viruses unmatched elsewhere in the world. He also shows how the world's richest assortment of animals and plants has helped - or hindered - human progress in Africa.
Africa is forever on our TV screens, but the bad-news stories (famine, genocide, corruption) massively outweigh the good (South Africa). Ever since the process of decolonialisation began in the mid-1950s, and arguably before, the continent has appeared to be stuck in a process of irreversible decline. Constant war, improper use of natural resources and misappropriation of revenues and aid monies contribute to an impression of a continent beyond hope. How did we get here? What, if anything, is to be done? Weaving together the key stories and characters of the last fifty years into a stunningly compelling and coherent narrative, Martin Meredith has produced the definitive history of how European ideas of how to organise 10,000 different ethnic groups has led to what Tony Blair described as the 'scar on the conscience of the world'. Authoritative, provocative and consistently fascinating, this is a major book on one of the most important issues facing the West today.
This history of Africa from the origins of mankind to the South African general election of 1994 refocuses African history on the peopling of an environmentally hostile continent. The social, economic and political institutions of the African continent were designed to ensure survival and maximize numbers, but in the context of medical progress and other twentieth-century innovations these institutions have bred the most rapid population growth the world has ever seen. The history of the continent is thus a single story binding living Africans to the earliest human ancestors.
"Yet elephant history has been dominated by periods of brutality and persecution. African elephants were used in ancient times to fight in wars. The Romans threw them into gladiatorial games. But, above all, it was the demand for their ivory, prized for centuries as a badge of wealth and status and used in modern times to manufacture piano keys and billiard balls, that has made Africa's elephants one of the most vulnerable animals on earth. In the late twentieth century, the onslaught was so severe that the African elephant was placed on the list of endangered species."--BOOK JACKET.
This book gives a comprehensive picture of cities in Africa from early origins to the present. It views towns and cities as an inherent part of developing Africa and emphasizes the extent to which the future of African society and African culture will likely be played out mostly in cities.
Fresh, exciting and vividly readable, this is popular history at its very best. Our understanding of world history is changing, as new discoveries are made on all the continents and old prejudices are being challenged. In this truly global journey Andrew Marr revisits some of the traditional epic stories, from classical Greece and Rome to the rise of Napoleon, but surrounds them with less familiar material, from Peru to the Ukraine, China to the Caribbean. He looks at cultures that have failed and vanished, as well as the origins of today’s superpowers, and finds surprising echoes and parallels across vast distances and epochs. A History of the World is a book about the great change-makers of history and their times, people such as Cleopatra, Genghis Khan, Galileo and Mao, but it is also a book about us. For ‘the better we understand how rulers lose touch with reality, or why revolutions produce dictators more often than they produce happiness, or why some parts of the world are richer than others, the easier it is to understand our own times.’
Niumi, a small, little-known territory located on the bank of the Gambia River in West Africa, is seemingly far from the reaches of world historical events. And yet the outside world has long had a significant - and increasingly profound - impact on Niumi. This fascinating work shows how global events have affected people's lives over the past eight centuries in this small region in Africa's smallest country. Drawing on written and oral testimony, and writing in a clear and personal style, Donald R. Wright connects 'globalization' with real people in a real place. This new edition updates discussions of global history and African history based on current studies and new developments that have been factored into the interpretive framework. Reflecting on recent visits to Niumi, Wright extends the story into 2009, to consider the impact of global recession and domestic political repression under a regime in power for the past fifteen years. Punctuating the narrative are photographs, maps, and 'Perspectives' boxes on selected topics such as the sale of slaves five centuries ago, colonial sexism, the fate of press freedom, and how popular culture affects growing up in a traditional society. Throughout, the author deals with African history seriously, global trends critically, and human lives sensitively.
A comprehensive and balanced history of the world in the twentieth century and into the new millennium, William Duiker's text not only chronicles the key events in the revolutionary twentieth century, but also examines the underlying issues that have shaped the times. CONTEMPORARY WORLD HISTORY, 5E, takes a global approach to the subject while doing justice to the distinctive character of individual civilizations and regions. Duiker integrates political, economic, social, and cultural history, creating a chronologically ordered synthesis that gives students the true flavor of the most decisive moments in recent world history. In addition, Duiker's own photographs and selection of primary source documents, which illustrate much of the book, are especially effective in illustrating key points in the narrative. A new feature, Film & History, presents a brief analysis of the plot as well as the historical significance, value, and accuracy of eight films, including such movies as Khartoum (1966), Gandhi (1982), The Last Emperor (1987), and The Lives of Others (2006). Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.