In a vast and all-embracing study of Africa, from the origins of mankind to the present day, John Iliffe refocuses its history on the peopling of an environmentally hostile continent. Africans have been pioneers struggling against disease and nature, but during the last century their inherited culture has interacted with medical progress to produce the most rapid population growth the world has ever seen. This new edition incorporates genetic and linguistic findings, throwing light on early African history and summarises research that has transformed the study of the Atlantic slave trade. It also examines the consequences of a rapidly growing youthful population, the hopeful but uncertain democratisation and economic recovery of the early twenty-first century, the containment of the AIDS epidemic and the turmoil within Islam that has produced the Arab Spring. Africans: The History of a Continent is thus a single story binding modern men and women to their earliest human ancestors.
Reviews of previous editions:
"I have never read a more original, stimulating, current and authoritative text; it ranks with the best creative masters of the genre who defined the fields of African history."
– Joseph C. Miller, University of Virginia
"This excellent continent-wide survey [...] is one of the best single volumes of African history that is currently available to the specialist as well as the student. [...] ln addition to providing a solid background in African history, lliffe's stimulating interpretations open up many useful avenues for debate and further research. This work is highly recommended for scholars and students alike."
– The Historian
Preface to the third edition
1. The frontiersmen of mankind
2. The emergence of food-producing communities
3. The impact of metals
4. Christianity and Islam
5. Colonising society in Western Africa
6. Colonising society in Eastern and Southern Africa
7. The Atlantic slave trade
8. Regional diversity in the nineteenth century
9. Colonial invasion
10. Colonial society and African nationalism
11. Industrialisation and race in South Africa, 1886–1994
12. Independent Africa, 1956–95
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John Iliffe was Professor of African History at the University of Cambridge and is a Fellow of St John's College. He is the author of several books on Africa including A Modern History of Tanganyika (Cambridge, 1979) and The African Poor: A History (Cambridge, 1988), which was awarded the Herskovits Prize of the African Studies Association of the United States.