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History > African History

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Against the Odds Cover

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Against the Odds

A History of Zimbabwe Project

1978: In Rhodesia, the Internal Settlement led to the creation of a coalition government. Smith had, however, neither capitulated nor abandoned his belief in white superiority, and thousands of people fled across the countryís borders.In England, a group of missionaries, supported by the Catholic Institute for International Relations, formed a steering group that was to become the Zimbabwe Project. Originally an educational fund to support exiled young Zimbabweans, it shifted focus toward humanitarian assistance to refugees in the region.1981: The Zimbabwe Project Trust, a child of the war, came home, and its director, Judith Todd, started mapping the route that it would follow for the next thirty years.ZimPro ñ as it came to be known ñ began its work with ex-combatants, assisting with their education, skills training and co-operative development, and producing a news bulletin. In terms of funding, courage, and creative programming, it became a giant in the countryís development landscape, but it has had to negotiate many political, financial and philosophical minefields on the way. Against The Odds offers a rare insight into workings of an NGO on the frontline. With a cast of larger-than-life characters, it also offers a drama of Zimbabweís first thirty years and provides insights and lessons which will benefit everyone concerned with development, and provide historians with another important lens through which to view the past.

Al Qaeda Declares War Cover

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Al Qaeda Declares War

The African Embassy Bombings and America’s Search for Justice

Tod Hoffman

Three years before the events of 9/11, Osama bin Laden sent al Qaeda suicide bombers on a coordinated attack to destroy the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. That day, August 7, 1998, more than two hundred people were killed and thousands were wounded. Responding immediately, the FBI launched the largest international investigation in its history. Within months, suspects were arrested in six countries. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York indicted twenty-two individuals, including the elusive bin Laden. In February 2001 a landmark trial of four of the accused was held in Manhattan in the shadow of the World Trade Center. Al Qaeda Declares War: The African Embassy Bombings and America’s Search for Justice explores the step-by-step procedures the United States employed in analyzing these attacks, identifying the suspects, tracking down and apprehending them, building a case, and prosecuting them. It is this case that established the legal basis for hunting down bin Laden, and the trial makes for a gripping courtroom drama, in which the robust principles of American justice confront the fanaticism of true believers. Tod Hoffman argues forcefully that the process after the 1998 incident stands in marked contrast to the illegal detention, torture, and abrogation of rights that followed 9/11. Indeed, reverberations from the African embassy bombings continue in the ongoing hunt for perpetrators still at large, and in targeted killings by drones. Al Qaeda Declares War dramatically recounts the terror and bloodshed of that day in Africa and shows that America’s search for justice afterward offers important lessons for today.

The Americans are Coming! Cover

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The Americans are Coming!

For more than half a century before World War II, black South Africans and “American Negroes”—a group that included African Americans and black West Indians—established close institutional and personal relationships that laid the necessary groundwork for the successful South African and American antiapartheid movements. Though African Americans suffered under Jim Crow racial discrimination, oppressed Africans saw African Americans as free people who had risen from slavery to success and were role models and potential liberators. Many African Americans, regarded initially by the South African government as “honorary whites” exempt from segregation, also saw their activities in South Africa as a divinely ordained mission to establish “Africa for Africans,” liberated from European empires. The Jamaican-born Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association, the largest black-led movement with two million members and supporters in forty-three countries at its height in the early 1920s, was the most anticipated source of liberation. Though these liberation prophecies went unfulfilled, black South Africans continued to view African Americans as inspirational models and as critical partners in the global antiapartheid struggle. The Americans Are Coming! is a rare case study that places African history and American history in a global context and centers Africa in African Diaspora studies. 

Anatomy of a South African Genocide Cover

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Anatomy of a South African Genocide

In 1998 David Kruiper, the leader of the ‡Khomani San who today live in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa, lamented, “We have been made into nothing.” His comment applies equally to the fate of all the hunter- gatherer societies of the Cape Colony who were destroyed by the impact of European colonialism. Until relatively recently, the extermination of the Cape San peoples has been treated as little more than a footnote to South African narratives of colonial conquest. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Dutch-speaking pastoralists who infiltrated the Cape interior dispossessed its aboriginal inhabitants. In response to indigenous resistance, colonists formed mounted militia units known as commandos with the express purpose of destroying San bands. This ensured the virtual extinction of the Cape San peoples. In Anatomy of a South African Genocide, Mohamed Adhikari examines the history of the San and persuasively presents the annihilation of Cape San society as genocide. 

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The ANC Youth League

Clive Glaser

This brilliant little book tells the story of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League from its origins in the 1940s to the present and the controversies over Julius Malema and his influence in contemporary youth politics. Glaser analyzes the ideology and tactics of its founders, some of whom (notably Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo) later became iconic figures in South African history as well as inspirational figures such as A. P. Mda (father of author Zakes Mda) and Anton Lembede. It shows how the early Youth League gave birth not only to the modern ANC but also to its rival, the Pan Africanist Congress. Dormant for many years, the Youth League reemerged in the transition era under the leadership of Peter Mokaba — infused with the tradition of the militant youth politics of the 1980s. Throughout its history the Youth League has tried to “dynamize” and criticize the ANC from within, while remaining devoted to the mother body and struggling to find a balance between loyalty and rebellion.

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The Anglophone Cameroon Predicament

This study explores the predicament of Anglophone Cameroon ñ from the experiment in federation from 1961 to the political liberalisation struggles of the 1990s ñ to challenge claims of a successful post-independence Cameroonian integration process. Focusing on the perceptions and actions of people in the Anglophone region, Atanga argues that what has come to be called the ìAnglophone Problemî constitutes one of the severest threats to the post-colonial nation-state project in Cameroon. As a linguistic and cultural minority, Anglophone Cameroonians realised that the Francophone-led state and government were keener in assimilation than in implementing the federal and bilingual nation agreed upon at reunification in 1960. Calls for national integration became simply a subterfuge for the assimilation of Anglophones by Francophones who dominated the state and government. The book details the various measures undertaken to exploit the Anglophone regionís economy and marginalise its people. Principally the economic structures meant to facilitate self-reliant development were undermined and destroyed. Institutionalised discrimination took the form of the exclusion of Anglophones from positions of real authority, and depriving the region of any meaningful development. With the advent of multi-party politics, most Anglophone Cameroonians increasingly have made vocal demands for a return to a federation, in order to adequately guarantee their rights and recognition for them as a political and cultural minority. Actively encouraged by France, the Francophone-led regime in Cameroon has refused to yield to such demands, despite the grave danger of violent conflict and possible secession.

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Antecedents to Modern Rwanda

The Nyiginya Kingdom

Jan Vansina

To understand the genocide and other dramatic events of Rwanda’s recent past, one must understand the history of the earlier realm. Jan Vansina provides a critique of the history recorded by early missionaries and court historians and provides a bottom-up view, drawing on hundreds of grassroots narratives. He describes the genesis of the Hutu and Tutsi identities, their growing social and political differences, their bitter feuds, revolts, and massacres, and the relevance of this dramatic history to the post-genocide Rwanda of today.

2001 French edition, Katharla Publishers

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Anthropology of the Middle East and North Africa

Into the New Millennium

Edited by Sherine Hafez and Susan Slyomovics

This volume combines ethnographic accounts of fieldwork with overviews of recent anthropological literature about the region on topics such as Islam, gender, youth, and new media that are of particular relevance for understanding the "Arab Spring" of 2011. It addresses contemporary debates about modernity, nation building, and the link between the ideology of power and the production of knowledge. Contributors include established and emerging scholars known for the depth and quality of their ethnographic writing and for their interventions in current theory.

Armee et politique au Niger Cover

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Armee et politique au Niger

Niger's political history has lacked a synthesis on the army's involvement in politics since independence. The country is a fertile ground for such analysis. Between 1964 and 1999, the country witnessed three successful military coups during the democratisation process (April 1974, January 1996, and April 1999) and at least four military coup attempts (1964, 1975, 1976, 1983). In its forty years of independence, Niger has been under military rule for twenty-one years. It has also experienced seven different institutional regimes while four out of the six presidents who headed the country were soldiers. Niger evolved from the Second to the Fifth Republic in less than ten years - from the national conference (November 1991) to the last military coup (April 1999). In statistical terms, Niger has been witnessing a military coup or a military coup attempt every five-years since 1974. In addition to that, the country recorded seven mutinies and various other forms of troop rebellion between December 1963 and August 2000. In terms of institutional instability, Niger's record is unparalleled in Africa. A study on the army is therefore more needed than ever before. The recurrence with which the military appears on the political scene imposes another way of looking at Niger's army. A critical analysis of the military phenomenon, if not an assessment, would help envisage new prospects for Niger's future. This work, which was undertaken by a multi disciplinary team, suggests an analysis, from a historical and sociological perspective, of the long-standing involvement of the army in politics (the apparition of war leaders in the 19th century, the transition from colonial army to national army, the politicisation of the army and the emergence of 'military-politicians', the army sociology.). It aims at providing an answer to a key question: Why is the army so deeply involved in politics in Niger? It reveals how a significant military component has been gradually built up in Niger's political arena to become a highly dynamic political entrepreneur, able to compete with civilian politicians. The work shows, on the one hand, the significance of socio-political and economic contexts that promote the propensity for military interventionism, and on the other hand the transformations within the army that explain its propensity to intervene. It relates two decades of 'military rule', analyses their modes of legitimating, organising and managing power, gives an assessment of their economic policies and sheds light on women's role in that institution, which was thus far a men's business.

Aspects of Colonial Tanzania History Cover

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Aspects of Colonial Tanzania History

Aspects of Colonial Tanzanian History is a collection of essays that examines the lives and experiences of both colonizers and the colonized during colonial rule in what is today known as Tanzania. Dr. Mbogoni examines a range of topics hitherto unexplored by scholars of Tanzania history, namely: excessive alcohol consumption (the sundowners); adultery and violence among the colonial officials; attitudes to inter-racial sexual liaisons especially between Europeans and Africans; game-poaching; European settler vigilantism; radio broadcasting; film production and the nature of Arab slavery in Zanzibar. A particularly noteworthy case related to European vigilantism is examined: the trial of Oldus Elishira, a Maasai, for the murder of a European settler farmer in 1955. The victim, Harold M. Stuchbery, was speared to death when he attempted to ìarrestî a group of Maasai young men who were passing through his farm. The event highlighted the differences in the concepts of justice held by Maasai and the imported justice systems from the colonizers. It also raised vexing questions about the colonial judgeís acquittal of Oldus Elishira, while the Maasai who should have been satisfied with that decision decided to take it upon themselves to mete out an appropriate punishment to Elshira instead of total acquittal, and to compensate Mrs. Stuchbery for the death of her husband by giving her a number of heads of cattle.

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