In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Book Reviews 227 are left in no doubt that the "giants" of Brown's title are Europeans, not Africans. There are other quibbles, too. Given the pedantic industry of the author in all other respects, it is surprising and disappointing that there is only the very briefest mention of the two expeditions to the Lake mounted from Ethiopia—those of Balugesni and Leontieff. And to any scholar, the lack of footnotes is more than annoying in a volume that makes use of some previously unrecorded and several still neglected sources, as well as privately held materials. The bibliographical notes at the end of the book do not compensate for this shortcoming. All this said, it is certainly useful to have all of this information gathered between hardcovers. Within a narrow and somewhat unfashionable focus upon European "achievement" in Africa, Monty Brown has compiled an entertaining and sometimes illuminating account. But most of all, the book is worth having for its magnificent array of illustrations . The word lavish seems hardly adequate to sum up the collection of 63 color prints, 76 black-and-white prints, 15 maps, and 10 reproduced sketches gathered here. At a mere £30, so lavishly illustrated a volume is undoubtedly good value, despite it limitations. David Anderson University of London Prelude to the Mahdiyya: Peasants and Traders in the Shendi Region, Ï821-1885 Anders Bjorkelo Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. 192 pp. Studiously avoiding the repetition of material that is well known to Sudanists , Anders Bjorkelo treats the social and economic history of the Shendi region under Turco-Egyptian rule from its conquest in 1821 to its fall to Mahdist armies in 1885. With the decline of Sinnar in the late 18th century, the Shendi region was ruled by a series of local makks, kings of the Ja'aliyyin, the dominant ethnic group of the region. From 1821, the Ja'aliyyin suffered extreme economic exploitation and sought©Northeast African Studies (ISSN 0740-9133) Vol. 1, Nos. 2-3 (New Series) 1994, pp. 227-233 228 Book Reviews relief through emigration to the south and west. The effects of this emigration were to transform north-south relations and link all of the Sudan to Egypt and the broader world economy. As the Egyptians extended their political and economic dominion even into the south and west of the modern Sudan, many people of Shendi joined with other northern Sudanese in anticipating deliverance from foreign domination and economic exploitation, and in that spirit they joined with the Mahdi to drive the Turks and Europeans out of the Sudan. Non-specialists may be puzzled by the aspects of social and economic history that the author chooses to pursue in detail, while saying relatively little about others. He makes few references to the challenges involved in researching an area that experienced heavy emigration throughout the period in question, where official records were never thorough and infrequently updated, and which underwent a major social revolution that destroyed many of the relevant records. Statistics are rare, and the full time-series data of economic information are nonexistent. Because of his modesty, the author does not fully indicate to the reader the considerable obstacles he encountered, and his accomplishments risk passing unremarked. This careful and well-researched case study describes the effects of colonial rule on a part of sub-Saharan Africa. Necessarily a great deal of attention is paid to the pre-colonial situation to establish a basis for later comparison. In some instances a bit more analysis of the goals and motives of the colonial power would have clarified the discussion. The first two chapters provide background on Shendi in the political history of the Sudan and on the state of Shendi's economy prior to 1821. Bjorkelo wisely refers the reader to The Heroic Age of Sinnar, by Jay Spaulding, for the details of Shendi's ties to that dominant riverain sultanate . The conquest is treated in more detail, from the ambitions of Muhammad 'Ali Pasha to the fate of his youngest son, Isma'il. As leader of the conquering army, he was immolated with his men at Shendi after making impossible demands of Makk Nimr. The consequences of this resistance were...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1535-6574
Print ISSN
0740-9133
Pages
pp. 227-233
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.