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African History: A Very Short Introduction | [John Parker]

African History: A Very Short Introduction

This Very Short Introduction looks at Africa's past and reflects on the changing ways it has been imagined and represented, both in Africa and beyond. The author illustrates important aspects of Africa's history with a range of fascinating historical examples, drawn from over 5 millennia across this vast continent.
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Publisher's Summary

This Very Short Introduction looks at Africa's past and reflects on the changing ways it has been imagined and represented, both in Africa and beyond. The author illustrates important aspects of Africa's history with a range of fascinating historical examples, drawn from over five millennia across this vast continent.

The multitude of topics that the listener will learn about in this succinct work includes the unity and diversity of African cultures, slavery, religion, colonial conquest, the diaspora, and the importance of history in understanding contemporary Africa. The book 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?

Africa has been known as "the cradle of mankind", and its recoverable history stretches back to the Pharaohs. But the idea of studying African history is itself new, and the authors show why it is still contested and controversial.

This VSI , the first concise work of its kind, will prove essential for anyone interested in the African continent and the diversity of human history.

In a hurry? Listen to more Very Short Introductions.

©2007 Oxford University Press; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.3 (24 )
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  •  
    Francisco Madrid, Spain 12-29-10
    Francisco Madrid, Spain 12-29-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    65
    ratings
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    3
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    "Buyers beware"

    The book’s title is a bad pun. This is not the chronological/regional sketch of key peoples, figures, and cultural/economic/military events happened in the African continent in the last few millennia for the interested layman that I supposed it to be. Rather, it is a dull rant about the historians of Africa during the last 150 years, their views, their publications, their political agendas and their petty academic battles, all this generously sprinkled with dull philosophical meanderings about what History is or should be. A waste of listening time.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Pymble, Australia 07-27-12
    John Pymble, Australia 07-27-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    25
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    Story
    "Not Short Introduction, rather a Long Bibliography"
    What disappointed you about African History?

    I was heading to Africa for a holiday and wanted to learn more about the History. This book is more in the nature of an academic paper.

    My worst purchase on Audible.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    pme1123 07-01-15
    pme1123 07-01-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Monotone Metahistory of Africa"
    What did you like best about African History? What did you like least?

    This is a decent metahistory of Africa. That is, this book is a history of the history of Africa - this is a survey of the sources, ideas, constructions, and agendas that have dominated the scholarly field of African history for the past ~200 years. It is not a linear history of Africa from the dawn of humans to the present. It does include some illustrative anecdotes and major historical undercurrents, but mostly to support the metahistory aspect. As such, if you're looking for a story or a bunch of facts, this is not your book. It is, however, excellent for contextualizing everything else you might read on the topic - which I will appreciate in further books. Worth reading, but the atrocious narrator means listening is a slog.


    What didn’t you like about Dion Graham’s performance?

    Oppressively lifeless. Imagine an emeritus professor giving a lecture from a textbook.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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