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The African Genius

By: Basil Davidson (Author)

James Currey

Paperback | Jan 1969 | #90518 | ISBN: 085255799X
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NHBS Price: £16.99 $21/€19 approx

About this book

Basil Davidson gives insights into the depth and sophistication of African cultural and social history in a way that is intelligible and accessible to the lay-reader.

"Basil Davidson is the most effective popularizer of African history and archaeology outside Africa and certainly the best trusted in Africa itself."
– Roland Oliver in The New York Review of Books

"Mr. Davidson cuts through jungles of ignorance to reveal a very old, very sophisticated African culture. This is a lucid history of a society and culture shattered by the slave traders and the imperialists, and only now painfully reconstructing itself."

"Both learned and readable, it forms a valuable contribution to a better composite understanding of modern African problems [...] "
The Economist

"[Basil Davidson] is able to set out a splendidly wide-ranging view of African cultural history with admirable clarity and his special gift for synthesis."
The Sunday Times (London)

"[...] a unique synthesis: the first attempt, in a sense, at a general religious and social history of Africa. The author's talent for making African society intelligible to the lay reader is indisputable [...]"
Library Journal

"In Britain, Davidson is the often-overlooked fourth man in the group that includes his contemporaries and fellow historians, Christopher Hill, Eric Hobsbawm and E.P. Thompson (a close friend of Davidson's for many years). These men's committed, left-wing approach to writing history opened up the stuffy, chauvinist world of British professional historians and reached a popular audience far beyond academia. But whereas the others wrote about the British or European past, Davidson studied Africa and put his political energies into the struggle for Third World liberation."
– Michael Bygrave in The Guardian


- Prologue: A Scattered Wisdom
- I Africa's World
- II Social Charters
- III Structures Of Belief
- IV Mechanisms Of Change
- V The Deluge & Today
- Epilogue: African Destinies

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