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History > African History > East Africa

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East Africa Cover

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East Africa

An Introductory History

Robert Maxon

In this third edition of East Africa: An Introductory History, Robert M. Maxon revisits the diverse eastern region of Africa, including the modern nations of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. With revised sections and a new preface, this comprehensive text surveys East Africa’s political, economic, and social history from pre-colonial to modern times. Maxon reveals the physical movement and societal development of and between ethnic groups before the 1890s; the capitalistic impact of European colonialism in the early nineteenth century; and the achievement and aftermath of independence in East Africa during the later part of this century. East Africa: An Introductory History documents the transformation of East Africa from the Stone Age to the first decade of the twenty-first century. The book is ideal for any reader interested in unraveling the intricate history of this East Africa, and especially for students coming to the study of this region for the first time.

The emperor's clothes Cover

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The emperor's clothes

a personal viewpoint on politics and administration in the imperial Ethiopian government, 1941-1974

Gaitachew Bekele

 . . . An engaging personal account of a public service career n the period leading to the 1974 revolution. It ...persuades and provides real insight into the genuine noblesse oblige of the first generation of technocrats drawn from the social elite of the post- war period.
-James McCann, Boston University

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The Evangelical Movement in Ethiopia

Resistance and Resilience

Tibebe Eshete

In this sweeping history, Tibebe Eshete presents a new view of Ethiopian Christianity. Synthesizing existing scholarship with original interviews and archival research, he demonstrates that the vernacular nature of the Ethiopian church played a critical role in the development of a state church. He also traces the effects of the political on the religious: the growth of other “counter-cultural” movements in 1960s Ethiopia, such as renewal movements, youth discontentment, and the Marxist regime (under which the church still flourished). This strikingly authentic work refutes the thesis that evangelicalism was imported. Instead, Eshete shows, it was a genuine indigenous response to cultural pressures.

From Enslavement to Environmentalism Cover

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From Enslavement to Environmentalism

Politics on a Southern African Frontier

By David McDermott Hughes

From Goatherd to Governor. The Autobiography of Edwin Mtei Cover

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From Goatherd to Governor. The Autobiography of Edwin Mtei

The Autobiography of Edwin Mtei

From Goatherd to Governor is Edwin Mtei's autobiography. It is a story of the journey a few Africans of his generation made, from humble beginnings to heights of success and power. Mr. Mtei was the first Governor of the Bank of Tanzania and the architect of Central Banking in Tanzania, Secretary General of the East African Community and Minister of Finance in Nyerere's Government. Born in 1932 in Marangu, Moshi, he was brought up in a grass-thatched conical hut by his mother, a single parent; he attended 'bush' school at Ngaruma Lutheran Parish Church, and herded goats after lessons finished; he attended Old Moshi Middle and Tabora Secondary schools and went on to Makerere University College in 1953. He graduated from there with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, History and Geography in 1957. In his own words he states: "I have felt it worthwhile starting right at the beginning of my life. In this way, I aim to give some idea as to what it was like growing up in my birthplace, Marangu, in the tribal and colonial environment of Tanganyika in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. I touch on some of the traditions and beliefs of those days and on some colonial laws that impacted on our lives and surroundings." But as he himself states: "The most interesting part of my story is that relating to the events when I held senior positions in Nyerere's Government, and in the public service generally." That includes his falling out with Mwalimu Nyerere over IMF and its policies, and his resignation from his post as Minister of Finance. For the first time he tells his side of that story. In 1992 Mr. Mtei threw himself deep into the waters of multiparty politics. He founded Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) - the Party for Democracy and Development - and worked tirelessly to see it grow and emerge as an important party in the opposition, despite his own failure to win the parliamentary seat for Arusha Urban in the 1995 election. Even at 77 Mr. Mtei does not mince his words. He says what he believes and says it with courage and conviction. This is history, spanning well over half a century, written by someone who was involved in and who observed closely the key events of his time. He is retired and works on his farm, Ogaden Estate, but still manages to ruffle feathers whenever he is asked to comment on the economy and politics of Tanzania and East Africa.

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Genocide Lives in Us

Women, Memory, and Silence in Rwanda

Jennie E. Burnet

In the aftermath of the 1994 genocide, Rwandan women faced the impossible—resurrecting their lives amidst unthinkable devastation. Haunted by memories of lost loved ones and of their own experiences of violence, women rebuilt their lives from “less than nothing.” Neither passive victims nor innate peacemakers, they traversed dangerous emotional and political terrain to emerge as leaders in Rwanda today. This clear and engaging ethnography of survival tackles three interrelated phenomena—memory, silence, and justice—and probes the contradictory roles women played in postgenocide reconciliation.
    Based on more than a decade of intensive fieldwork, Genocide Lives in Us provides a unique grassroots perspective on a postconflict society. Anthropologist Jennie E. Burnet relates with sensitivity the heart-wrenching survival stories of ordinary Rwandan women and uncovers political and historical themes in their personal narratives. She shows that women’s leading role in Rwanda’s renaissance resulted from several factors: the dire postgenocide situation that forced women into new roles; advocacy by the Rwandan women’s movement; and the inclusion of women in the postgenocide government.

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Gossip, Markets, and Gender

How Dialogue Constructs Moral Value in Post-Socialist Kilimanjaro

Tuulikki Pietilä

"All traders are thieves, especially women traders," people often assured social anthropologist Tuulikki Pietilä during her field work in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, in the mid-1990s. Equally common were stories about businessmen who had "bought a spirit" for their enrichment. Pietilä places these and similar comments in the context of the liberalization of the Tanzanian economy that began in the 1980s, when many men and women found themselves newly enmeshed in the burgeoning market economy. Even as emerging private markets strengthened the position of enterprising people, economic resources did not automatically lead to heightened social position. Instead, social recognition remained tied to a complex cultural negotiation through stories and gossip in markets, bars, and neighborhoods.
    With its rich ethnographic detail, Gossip, Markets, and Gender shows how gossip and the responses to it form an ongoing dialogue through which the moral reputations of trading women and businessmen, and cultural ideas about moral value and gender, are constructed and rethought. By combining a sociolinguistic study of talk, storytelling, and conversation with analysis of gender, the political economy of trading, and the moral economy of personhood, Pietilä reveals a new perspective on the globalization of the market economy and its meaning and impact on the local level.

Winner, Aidoo-Snyder Prize, African Studies Association Women’s Caucus

Grasp the Shield Firmly the Journey is Hard Cover

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Grasp the Shield Firmly the Journey is Hard

A History of Luo and Bantu migrations to North Mara, (Tanzania) 1850-1950

This book is a compilation of oral histories about the movement of Luo and some Bantu-speaking peoples. It includes histories of many clans or ethnic groups, and how drought, warfare, disease, and competition over pastoral resources in western Kenya forced them to look for a land that they could call their own. Highly entertaining, the stories cross over from pre-colonial to post-colonial eras, with tales of fooling the colonial officers, winning battles and producing miracles. Although warriors and chiefs play a critical part in the stories so too do unlikely actors such as women, prophets, and common farmers. As one of the elders put it, ìWithout history you are like wild animalsÖ you need to know where you came from and who you are.î People with kinship connections to the ethnic groups represented here will delight in the references to places, people, kin groups and events. Residents of western Kenya will be able to trace some of their genealogies to North Mara and vice versa. Historians and anthropologists will find in this book a rich primary source for their own research. Those interested in cultural change will find this a fascinating case of Luo assimilation: events chronicled in this book are still underway and observable in communities today. Producing the text in both Swahili and English ensures that local people will have access to these histories for their own learning and on-going discussions about the past.

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Imagining Serengeti

A History of Landscape Memory in Tanzania from Earliest Time to the Present

Jan Bender Shetler

Long before the creation of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the people of the western Serengeti had established settlements and interacted with the environment in ways that created a landscape we now misconstrue as natural. Western Serengeti peoples imagine the environment not as a pristine wilderness, but as a differentiated social landscape that embodies their history and identity. Conservationist literature has ignored these now-displaced peoples and relegated them to the margins of modern society. Their oral traditions, however, provide the means for seeing the landscape from a new perspective.

Imagining Serengeti allows us to see the Serengeti landscape as a book of memory that preserves the ways in which western Serengeti peoples have actively transformed their environment and their societies. Moreover, it strengthens the case for involving local communities in conservation efforts that will preserve African environments for the future. Using a new methodology to analyze precolonial oral traditions, Jan Shetler identifies core spatial images, which are then recontextualized into historical time periods through the use of archaeological, linguistic, ethnographic, ecological, and archival evidence. Imagining Serengeti reconstructs a socioenvironmental history of landscape memory of the western Serengeti spanning the last eighteen hundred years.

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Lost People

Magic and the Legacy of Slavery in Madagascar

David Graeber

Betafo, a rural community in central Madagascar, is divided between the descendants of nobles and descendants of slaves. Anthropologist David Graeber arrived for fieldwork at the height of tensions attributed to a disastrous communal ordeal two years earlier. As Graeber uncovers the layers of historical, social, and cultural knowledge required to understand this event, he elaborates a new view of power, inequality, and the political role of narrative. Combining theoretical subtlety, a compelling narrative line, and vividly drawn characters, Lost People is a singular contribution to the anthropology of politics and the literature on ethnographic writing.

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