By John Parker, Richard Rathbone

ISBN-10: 0192802488

ISBN-13: 9780192802484

This Very brief advent appears at Africa's previous and displays at the altering methods it's been imagined and represented, either in Africa and past. the writer illustrates vital points of Africa's historical past with a variety of attention-grabbing old examples, drawn from over five millennia throughout this immense continent.

The multitude of issues that the reader will find out about during this succinct paintings comprise the harmony and variety of African cultures, slavery, faith, colonial conquest, the diaspora, and the significance of background in figuring out modern Africa. The ebook examines questions comparable to: Who invented the belief of "Africa"? How is African historical past pieced jointly, given one of these loss of documentary facts? How did Africa engage with the realm 1,000 years ago?

Africa has been often called 'the cradle of mankind', and its recoverable background stretches again to the Pharaohs. however the concept of learning African heritage is itself new, and the authors convey why it truly is nonetheless contested and arguable. This VSI, the 1st concise paintings of its type, will turn out crucial interpreting for an individual drawn to the African continent and the variety of human heritage.

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Extra resources for African History: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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But the historical law that starvation brings on revolt is not proved; indeed the opposite statement, that starvation leads to abject submission, is equally true in the light of past events. You cannot so completely isolate any historical event from its circumstances as to be able to deduce from it a law of general application…. An event is itself nothing but a set of circumstances, none of which will ever recur” (231). Writing against the grain of modern determinism, Trevelyan argued that a “true conception of history” is one that realizes “that the history of mankind is not simple but complex, that history never repeats itself but ever creates new forms differing according to time and place” (241).

Where many modern theorists have championed science and Enlightenment rationality as emancipatory, postmodern theorists attack these forces as repressive, pointing to the disastrous consequences of the rationalization of the social world, such as the production of new modes of destruction, violence, and social control. Thus, the modern linkage between reason and freedom comes un done in the postmodern description of rationalized domination. Rather than rethinking this relationship, as do critical modern theorists, many postmodern theorists reject the ideals of both reason and freedom and find nothing but the seeds of a totalitarian order in modern utopian schemes of a rational transformation of society and humanity.

This is precisely what is at stake in the modern/postmodern debates, and a critical comparison of Marx, Foucault, and Habermas promises to yield valuable insights into the important theoretical and political issues and conditions that confront us today. NOTES 1. As Germino notes, “Machiavelli wrote of charting a ‘new way not yet travelled by anyone’; both Luther and Bodin propounded concepts related to temporal government which they claimed could be found nowhere in the political thought of the past; Hobbes modestly insisted that ‘civil philosophy’ was ‘no older’ than his book De cive; Vico entitled his major work The New Science; and a long line of writers—Condorcet, Comte, Mazzini, Marx— presented themselves as har bingers of a new age of enlightenment and progress about to dawn for mankind” (1972:8).

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African History: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by John Parker, Richard Rathbone


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