These essays and articles, written between 1953 and 1993, explore the development of an African historiography and, in that context, the author's own development. People who have been involved all their lives with Africa will be reminded of how many times Basil Davidson has given them new insights. People who approach the study of Africa for the first time will find this collection opens out their perceptions.
"He addresses the fundamental issues."
– Michael Wolfers, The Guardian
"We learn something [...] about what kept those shrewd eyes on Africa and its history for over forty years. How lucky we have been to have been allowed to share so much of it with Basil Davidson."
– Richard Rathbone, University of London
Part 1 Claims:
- The search for Africa's past
- Africa and the invention of racism
- rescuing Africa's history
- Africanism and its meanings
Part 2 Antipathies
- Trigger-happy transvaal
- resistance in South Africa
- the roots of anti-apartheid
- South Africa - a system of legalized servitude
- Congo saga
- "a little corner of paradise"
- pluralism in colonial African societies
Part 3 Sympathies
- African peasants and revolution
- ideas and circumstances
- the legacy of Amilcar Cabral
Part 4 Debates
- nationalism and its ambiguities
- nationalism and Africa's self-transformation
- the politics of resitution
- Southern Africa - progress or disaster?
Part 5 Arguments
- the Ancient World and Africa - whose roots?
- the curse of Columbus
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