In a trawl through the entire sweep of sub-Saharan history, the authors have written an accessible introduction for students and general readers. The opening chapter on geography and climate frames the discussion, demonstrating how the environment has shaped the societies and cultures of those living in the region. Thereafter they describe the rise of states and empires in the classical period, the slave trade within Africa and beyond to the Americas, and the European conquest. The concluding section focuses on Africa in the twentieth century as it gains independence and searches for a new identity beyond colonialism. While the authors mull over the debates which have shaped the study of African history, at the centre of this story are the tragedies, triumphs and the resilience of the African people. The book is illustrated with photographs, maps, and sidebars which feature the salient points on either side of the debates
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'The clear writing and strong narrative drive in this text will be attractive to instructors looking for a one volume history of Africa that students will read. Supplemented with other texts, it will work well in the classroom as it gives a solid academic presentation of key issues and themes in African history, such as the slave trade and slavery over the long term. This history will also appeal to a more general audience, as it offers them a lively discussion of African geography and environment, a history that includes named individuals and politics, and a clear narrative. Substantive issues are treated in a clear way that will engage students and a wider audience.' James Searing, University of Illinois, Chicago