The Bad-Ass Librarians of TimbuktuJoshua Hammer
Chart of the top 50 most popular and best selling African history ebooks at the Apple iBookstore.
Chart list of the top African history ebooks was last updated: Tuesday, June 27 2017, 3:23 pm
The Bad-Ass Librarians of TimbuktuJoshua Hammer
To save ancient Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean’s Eleven in this “fast-paced narrative that is…part intellectual history, part geopolitical tract, and part out-and-out thriller” ( The Washington Post ). In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that were crumbling in the trunks of desert shepherds. His goal: to preserve this crucial part of the world’s patrimony in a gorgeous library. But then Al Qaeda showed up at the door. “Part history, part scholarly adventure story, and part journalist survey….Joshua Hammer writes with verve and expertise” ( The New York Times Book Review ) about how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist from the legendary city of Timbuktu, became one of the world’s greatest smugglers by saving the texts from sure destruction. With bravery and patience, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali. His heroic heist “has all the elements of a classic adventure novel” ( The Seattle Times ), and is a reminder that ordinary citizens often do the most to protect the beauty of their culture. His the story is one of a man who, through extreme circumstances, discovered his higher calling and was changed forever by it.
King Leopold's GhostAdam Hochschild
In the 1880s, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold II of Belgium seized for himself the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. Carrying out a genocidal plundering of the Congo, he looted its rubber, brutalized its people, and ultimately slashed its population by ten million--all the while shrewdly cultivating his reputation as a great humanitarian. Heroic efforts to expose these crimes eventually led to the first great human rights movement of the twentieth century, in which everyone from Mark Twain to the Archbishop of Canterbury participated. King Leopold's Ghost is the haunting account of a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions, a man as cunning, charming, and cruel as any of the great Shakespearean villains. It is also the deeply moving portrait of those who fought Leopold: a brave handful of missionaries, travelers, and young idealists who went to Africa for work or adventure and unexpectedly found themselves witnesses to a holocaust. Adam Hochschild brings this largely untold story alive with the wit and skill of a Barbara Tuchman. Like her, he knows that history often provides a far richer cast of characters than any novelist could invent. Chief among them is Edmund Morel, a young British shipping agent who went on to lead the international crusade against Leopold. Another hero of this tale, the Irish patriot Roger Casement, ended his life on a London gallows. Two courageous black Americans, George Washington Williams and William Sheppard, risked much to bring evidence of the Congo atrocities to the outside world. Sailing into the middle of the story was a young Congo River steamboat officer named Joseph Conrad. And looming above them all, the duplicitous billionaire King Leopold II. With great power and compassion, King Leopold's Ghost will brand the tragedy of the Congo--too long forgotten--onto the conscience of the West.
An unforgettable firsthand account of a people's response to genocide and what it tells us about humanity. This remarkable debut book chronicles what has happened in Rwanda and neighboring states since 1994, when the Rwandan government called on everyone in the Hutu majority to murder everyone in the Tutsi minority. Though the killing was low-tech--largely by machete--it was carried out at shocking speed: some 800,000 people were exterminated in a hundred days. A Tutsi pastor, in a letter to his church president, a Hutu, used the chilling phrase that gives Philip Gourevitch his title. With keen dramatic intensity, Gourevitch frames the genesis and horror of Rwanda's "genocidal logic" in the anguish of its aftermath: the mass displacements, the temptations of revenge and the quest for justice, the impossibly crowded prisons and refugee camps. Through intimate portraits of Rwandans in all walks of life, he focuses on the psychological and political challenges of survival and on how the new leaders of postcolonial Africa went to war in the Congo when resurgent genocidal forces threatened to overrun central Africa. Can a country composed largely of perpetrators and victims create a cohesive national society? This moving contribution to the literature of witness tells us much about the struggle everywhere to forge sane, habitable political orders, and about the stubbornness of the human spirit in a world of extremity. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families is the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.
There Was a CountryChinua Achebe
From the legendary author of Things Fall Apart —a long-awaited memoir of coming of age in a fragile new nation, and its destruction in a tragic civil war For more than forty years, Chinua Achebe maintained a considered silence on the events of the Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran War, of 1967–1970, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. Decades in the making, There Was a Country is a towering account of one of modern Africa’s most disastrous events, from a writer whose words and courage left an enduring stamp on world literature. A marriage of history and memoir, vivid firsthand observation and decades of research and reflection, There Was a Country is a work whose wisdom and compassion remind us of Chinua Achebe’s place as one of the great literary and moral voices of our age.
South Africa: History in an HourAnthony Holmes
Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour. With the passing of Nelson Mandela, ‘the father of the nation’, comes the end of an era, and the moment to look back on his remarkable saving, and remaking, of South Africa. After years of oppression and racial inequality, concentrated violence and apartheid, Mandela led the country to unite ‘for the freedom of us all’ as the country’s first black President. SOUTH AFRICA: HISTORY IN AN HOUR gives a lively account of the formation of modern South Africa, from the first contact with seventeenth-century European sailors, through the colonial era, the Boer Wars, apartheid and the establishment of a tolerant democracy in the late twentieth century. Here is a clear and fascinating overview of the emergence of the ‘Rainbow Nation’. Know your stuff: read about South African history in just one hour. Reviews ‘If the past is a foreign country, History in an Hour is like a high-class tour operator, offering delightfully enjoyable short breaks in the rich and diverse continent of our shared past’ Dominic Sandbrook ‘The practice of History is ever-evolving, and the History In An Hour idea brings it back up to date for the digital age’ Andrew Roberts, Bookseller ‘This is genius’ MacWorld.com About the author After a career in the management of international engineering companies, Anthony Holmes retired in 2000 and from that time he has concentrated on writing books and articles, mainly in the field of history. He has lived in South Africa since 1949 and witnessed the events leading up to the transition to a fully democratic country in 1994.
Playing the EnemyJohn Carlin
Beginning in a jail cell and ending in a rugby tournament- the true story of how the most inspiring charm offensive in history brought South Africa together After being released from prison and winning South Africa's first free election, Nelson Mandela presided over a country still deeply divided by fifty years of apartheid. His plan was ambitious if not far-fetched: use the national rugby team, the Springboks-long an embodiment of white-supremacist rule-to embody and engage a new South Africa as they prepared to host the 1995 World Cup. The string of wins that followed not only defied the odds, but capped Mandela's miraculous effort to bring South Africans together again in a hard-won, enduring bond.
City of ThornsBen Rawlence
To the charity workers, Dabaab refugee camp is a humanitarian crisis; to the Kenyan government, it is a 'nursery for terrorists'; to the western media, it is a dangerous no-go area; but to its half a million residents, it is their last resort. Situated hundreds of miles from any other settlement, deep within the inhospitable desert of northern Kenya where only thorn bushes grow, Dadaab is a city like no other. Its buildings are made from mud, sticks or plastic, its entire economy is grey, and its citizens survive on rations and luck. Over the course of four years, Ben Rawlence became a first-hand witness to a strange and desperate limbo-land, getting to know many of those who have come there seeking sanctuary. Among them are Guled, a former child soldier who lives for football; Nisho, who scrapes an existence by pushing a wheelbarrow and dreaming of riches; Tawane, the indomitable youth leader; and schoolgirl Kheyro, whose future hangs upon her education. In City of Thorns , Rawlence interweaves the stories of nine individuals to show what life is like in the camp and to sketch the wider political forces that keep the refugees trapped there. Rawlence combines intimate storytelling with broad socio-political investigative journalism, doing for Dadaab what Katherinee Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers did for the Mumbai slums. Lucid, vivid and illuminating, City of Thorns is an urgent human story with deep international repercussions, brought to life through the people who call Dadaab home.
Beginning in a jail cell and ending in a rugby tournament—the true story of how the most inspiring charm offensive in history brought South Africa together. After being released from prison and winning South Africa’s first free election, Nelson Mandela presided over a country still deeply divided by fifty years of apartheid. His plan was ambitious if not far-fetched: use the national rugby team, the Springboks—long an embodiment of white-supremacist rule—to embody and engage a new South Africa as they prepared to host the 1995 World Cup. The string of wins that followed not only defied the odds, but capped Mandela’s miraculous effort to bring South Africans together again in a hard-won, enduring bond. Watch a Video
Blood RiverTim Butcher
Published to rave reviews in the United Kingdom and named a Richard & Judy Book Club selection the only work of nonfiction on the 2008 list Blood River is the harrowing and audacious story of Tim Butcher’s journey in the Congo and his retracing of legendary explorer H. M. Stanley’s famous 1874 expedition in which he mapped the Congo River. When Daily Telegraph correspondent Tim Butcher was sent to Africa in 2000 he quickly became obsessed with the legendary Congo River and the idea of recreating Stanley’s journey along the three-thousand-mile waterway. Despite warnings that his plan was suicidal, Butcher set out for the Congo’s eastern border with just a backpack and a few thousand dollars hidden in his boots. Making his way in an assortment of vehicles, including a motorbike and a dugout canoe, helped along by a cast of characters from UN aid workers to a pygmy rights advocate, he followed in the footsteps of the great Victorian adventurer. An utterly absorbing narrative that chronicles Butcher’s forty-four-day journey along the Congo River, Blood River is an unforgettable story of exploration and survival.
Gaddafi's HaremAnnick Cojean & Marjolijn de Jager
Soraya was just fifteen, a schoolgirl in the coastal town of Sirte, when she was given the honor of presenting a bouquet of flowers to Colonel Gaddafi, the Guide,” on a visit he was making to her school the following week. This one meeting a presentation of flowers, a pat on the head from Gaddafi changed Soraya’s life forever. Soon afterwards, she was summoned to Bab al-Azizia, Gaddafi’s palatial compound near Tripoli, where she joined a number of young women who were violently abused, raped and degraded by Gaddafi. Heartwrenchingly tragic but ultimately redemptive, Soraya’s story is the first one of many that are just now beginning to be heard. But sex and rape remain the highest taboo in Libya, and women like Soraya (whose identity is protected by a pseudonym here) risk being disowned or even killed by their dishonored family members. In Gaddafi’s Harem , an instant bestseller on publication in France, where it has already sold more than 100,000 copies in hardcover, Le Monde special correspondent Annick Cojean gives a voice to Soraya’s story, and supplements her investigation into Gaddafi’s abuses of power through interviews with people who knew Soraya, as well as with other women who were abused by Gaddafi.
Africa: A HistoryAlvin M. Josephy
Most of us still know less about Africa's past and peoples than we do about the continent's wild animals. And what we do know is colored by romance - safaris and treks and camel caravans, Solomon's mine and Tutankhamun's curse, the shores of Tripoli and the snows of Kilimanjaro. Yet the ancestor of all humankind may have lived in Africa. The world's longest-lived, literate civilization was African. Through the ages, great civilizations rose and fell in what was once called "darkest" Africa, leaving behind mysterious fortresses and splendid art. Christianity and Islam battled age-old beliefs - and each other. Traders on camels were followed by explorers in caravels and by a plague of invaders, hungry for ivory and diamonds and the "black gold" of slavery. In just the last half century, independence has swept away the old maps and colonial ways to jar the balance of the world. Here is Africa's story.
The ExplorersMartin Dugard
Learn to unlock your inner explorer in this riveting account of a great, forbidding adventure and “a fascinating examination of the seven key traits of history’s most famous explorers…[with] infusions of insight and enthusiasm” ( Publishers Weekly , starred review). In 1856, two intrepid adventurers, Richard Frances Burton and John Hanning Speke, set off to unravel a geographical unknown: the location of the Nile River’s source. They traveled deep into an uncharted African wilderness together, arrived at two different solutions to the mystery, and parted ways as sworn enemies. The feud became an international sensation on their return to England, and a public debate was scheduled to decide whose theory was correct. What followed was a massive spectacle with an outcome no one could have foreseen. In The Explorers , New York Times bestselling author Martin Dugard shares the rich saga of the Burton and Speke expedition and guides readers through the seven traits that history’s most legendary explorers called on to survive their impossible journeys. In doing so, Dugard demonstrates that these traits have a most practical application in everyday life. We see St. Brendan the Navigator, driven by hope, sail into the unknown, and the curiosity that inspired John Ledyard to attempt to walk around the globe, and the perseverance Howard Carter needed to discover Tutankhamen’s tomb. From these and other examples, Dugard extracts lessons for unlocking the explorer in us all.
The African Origin of CivilizationCheikh Anta Diop
Now in its 30th printing, this classic presents historical, archaeological, and anthropological evidence to support the theory that ancient Egypt was a black civilization.
Machete SeasonJean Hatzfeld & Linda Coverdale
In April-May 1994, 800,000 Rwandan Tutsis were massacred by their Hutu fellow citizens--about 10,000 a day, mostly being hacked to death by machete. In Machete Season , the veteran foreign correspondent Jean Hatzfeld reports on the results of his interviews with nine of the Hutu killers. They were all friends who came from a single region where they helped to kill 50,000 out of their 59,000 Tutsi neighbors, and all of them are now in prison, some awaiting execution. It is usually presumed that killers will not tell the truth about their brutal actions, but Hatzfeld elicited extraordinary testimony from these men about the genocide they had perpetrated. He rightly sees that their account raises as many questions as it answers. Adabert, Alphonse, Ignace, and the others (most of them farmers) told Hatzfeld how the work was given to them, what they thought about it, how they did it, and what their responses were to the bloodbath. "Killing is easier than farming," one says. "I got into it, no problem," says another. Each describes what it was like the first time he killed someone, what he felt like when he killed a mother and child, how he reacted when he killed a cordial acquaintance, how 'cutting' a person with a machete differed from 'cutting' a calf or a sugarcane. And they had plenty of time to tell Hatzfeld, too, about whether and why they had reconsidered their motives, their moral responsibility, their guilt, remorse, or indifference to the crimes. Hatzfeld's meditation on the banal, horrific testimony of the genocidaires and what it means is lucid, humane, and wise: he relates the Rwanda horror to war crimes and to other genocidal episodes in human history. Especially since the Holocaust, it has been conventional to presume that only depraved and monstrous evil incarnate could perpetrate such crimes, but it may be, he suggests, that such actions are within the realm of ordinary human conduct. To read this disturbing, enlightening and very brave book is to consider in a new light the foundation of human morality and ethics.
Into AfricaThomas Sterling
When the explorer René Caillié returned to France from Africa in 1828, he published a sketch of the legendary city he had discovered - Timbuctoo. But neither that simple drawing nor his matter-of-fact description gave Caillié’s countrymen a sufficiently colorful picture to match their preconceptions of how Africa should look. They turned their backs on the young explorer, ignored his accomplishments, and let him die neglected. Here are the epic adventures of the European explorers who opened Africa – from Mongo Park and Vasco da Gama to Francis Burton and David Livingstone and Henry Stanley.
The Shadow of the SunRyszard Kapuscinski
In 1957, Ryszard Kapuscinski arrived in Africa to witness the beginning of the end of colonial rule as the first African correspondent of Poland's state newspaper. From the early days of independence in Ghana to the ongoing ethnic genocide in Rwanda, Kapuscinski has crisscrossed vast distances pursuing the swift, and often violent, events that followed liberation. Kapuscinski hitchhikes with caravans, wanders the Sahara with nomads, and lives in the poverty-stricken slums of Nigeria. He wrestles a king cobra to the death and suffers through a bout of malaria. What emerges is an extraordinary depiction of Africa--not as a group of nations or geographic locations--but as a vibrant and frequently joyous montage of peoples, cultures, and encounters. Kapuscinski's trenchant observations, wry analysis and overwhelming humanity paint a remarkable portrait of the continent and its people. His unorthodox approach and profound respect for the people he meets challenge conventional understandings of the modern problems faced by Africa at the dawn of the twenty-first century. From the Trade Paperback edition.
My Traitor's HeartRian Malan
Here is truth-telling at its most exemplary and courageous. The remorseless exercise of a reporter’s anguished conscience gives us a South Africa we thought we knew all about: but we knew nothing.” John le Carré My Traitor’s Heart is an astonishing work of reportage, at once beautiful, horrifying, and profound a book unlike any other about South Africa. Rian Malan is an Afrikaner, scion of a centuries-old clan deeply involved in the creation of apartheid. As a young crime reporter, Malan covered the atrocities of an undeclared race war and ultimately fled the country, unhinged by what he had seen. Eight years later, he returns to confront his own demons, and those that are tearing his country apart. Written in the final years of apartheid’s bloody collapse, My Traitor’s Heart still resonates, offering a chilling but ultimately redemptive vision of the darkest recesses of the black and white South African psyches.
My Friend the MercenaryJames Brabazon
In February 2002, British journalist James Brabazon set out to travel with guerrilla forces into Liberia to show the world what was happening in that war-torn country. To protect him, he hired Nick du Toit, a former South African Defence Force soldier who had fought in conflicts across Africa for over three decades. What follows is an incredible behind-the-scenes account of the Liberian rebels — known as the LURD — as they attempt to seize control of the country from government troops led by President Charles Taylor. In this gripping narrative, James Brabazon paints a brilliant portrait of the chaos that tore West Africa apart: nations run by warlords and kleptocrats, rebels fighting to displace them, ordinary people caught in the crossfire — and everywhere adventurers and mercenaries operating in war's dark shadows. It is a brutally honest book about what it takes to be a journalist, survivor, and friend in this morally corrosive crucible.
They Poured Fire on Us From the SkyBenjamin Ajak, Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng & Judy A. Bernstein
A stunning literary survival story of three young Sudanese boys, two brothers and a cousin hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a moving, beautifully written account, by turns warm and tender.” Between 1987 and 1989, Alepho, Benjamin, and Benson, like tens of thousands of young boys, took flight from the massacres of Sudan's civil war. They became known as the Lost Boys. With little more than the clothes on their backs, sometimes not even that, they streamed out over Sudan in search of refuge. Their journey led them first to Ethiopia and then, driven back into Sudan, toward Kenya. They walked nearly one thousand miles, sustained only by the sheer will to live. They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky is the three boys' account of that unimaginable journey. With the candor and the purity of their child's-eye-vision, Alephonsian, Benjamin, and Benson recall by turns: how they endured the hunger and strength-sapping illnesses dysentery, malaria, and yellow fever; how they dodged the life-threatening predators lions, snakes, crocodiles and soldiers alike that dogged their footsteps; and how they grappled with a war that threatened continually to overwhelm them. Their story is a lyrical, captivating, timeless portrait of a childhood hurled into wartime and how they had the good fortune and belief in themselves to survive.
Lose Your MotherSaidiya Hartman
In Lose Your Mother , Saidiya Hartman journeys along a slave route in Ghana, following the trail of captives from the hinterland to the Atlantic coast. She retraces the history of the Atlantic slave trade from the fifteenth to the twentieth century and reckons with the blank slate of her own genealogy. There were no survivors of Hartman's lineage, nor far-flung relatives in Ghana of whom she had come in search. She traveled to Ghana in search of strangers. The most universal definition of the slave is a stranger—torn from kin and country. To lose your mother is to suffer the loss of kin, to forget your past, and to inhabit the world as a stranger. As both the offspring of slaves and an American in Africa, Hartman, too, was a stranger. Her reflections on history and memory unfold as an intimate encounter with places—a holding cell, a slave market, a walled town built to repel slave raiders—and with people: an Akan prince who granted the Portuguese permission to build the first permanent trading fort in West Africa; an adolescent boy who was kidnapped while playing; a fourteen-year-old girl who was murdered aboard a slave ship. Eloquent, thoughtful, and deeply affecting, Lose Your Mother is a powerful meditation on history, memory, and the Atlantic slave trade.
Too Close to the SunSara Wheeler
Denys Finch Hatton was adored by women and idolized by men. A champion of Africa, legendary for his good looks, his charm, and his prowess as a soldier, lover, and hunter, Finch Hatton inspired Karen Blixen to write the unforgettable stories in Out of Africa . Now esteemed British biographer Sara Wheeler tells the truth about this extraordinarily charismatic adventurer. Born to an old aristocratic family that had gambled away most of its fortune, Finch Hatton grew up in a world of effortless elegance and boundless power. Tall and graceful, with the soul of a poet and an athlete’s relaxed masculinity, he became a hero without trying at Eton and Oxford. In 1910, searching for novelty and danger, Finch Hatton arrived in British East Africa and fell in love–with a continent, with a landscape, with a way of life that was about to change forever. Wheeler brilliantly conjures the mystical beauty of Kenya at a time when teeming herds of wild animals roamed unmolested across pristine savannah. No one was more deeply attuned to this beauty than Finch Hatton–and no one more bitterly mourned its passing when the outbreak of World War I engulfed the region in a protracted, bloody guerrilla conflict. Finch Hatton was serving as a captain in the Allied forces when he met Karen Blixen in Nairobi and embarked on one of the great love affairs of the twentieth century. With delicacy and grace, Wheeler teases out truth from fiction in the liaison that Blixen herself immortalized in Out of Africa . Intellectual equals, bound by their love for the continent and their inimitable sense of style, Finch Hatton and Blixen were genuine pioneers in a land that was quickly being transformed by violence, greed, and bigotry. Ever restless, Finch Hatton wandered into a career as a big-game hunter and became an expert bush pilot; his passion that led to his affair with the notoriously unconventional aviatrix Beryl Markham. But Markham was no more able to hold him than Blixen had been. Mesmerized all his life by the allure of freedom and danger, Finch Hatton was, writes Wheeler, “the open road made flesh.” In painting a portrait of an irresistible man, Sara Wheeler has beautifully captured the heady glamour of the vanished paradise of colonial East Africa. In Too Close to the Sun she has crafted a book that is as ravishing as its subject. From the Hardcover edition.
The Lion Sleeps TonightRian Malan
Since its original publication twenty years ago Rian Malan’s classic work of narrative nonfiction My Traitor’s Heart has earned its author comparisons to masters of literary nonfiction like Michael Herr and Ryszard Kapuscinski. The Lion Sleeps Tonight is Malan’s remarkable chronicle of South Africa’s halting steps and missteps, taken as blacks and whites try to build a new country. Some of the essays previously appeared in a collection published only in South Africa, Resident Alien , but others are collected here for the first time. The collection comprises twenty-three pieces; the title story investigates the provenance of the world famous song The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” which Malan traces back to a Zulu singer named Solomon Linda who recorded a song called Mbube” in the 1930s, which went on to be covered by Pete Seeger, REM, and Phish, and was incorporated into the musical The Lion King.” In other stories, Malan follows the trial of Winnie Mandela and plunges into the explosive controversy over President Mbeki’s AIDS policies of the 1990s. The stories, combined with Malan’s sardonic interstitial commentary, offer a brilliantly observed portrait of contemporary South Africa.
Imperial ReckoningCaroline Elkins
A major work of history that for the first time reveals the violence and terror at the heart of Britain's civilizing mission in Kenya As part of the Allied forces, thousands of Kenyans fought alongside the British in World War II. But just a few years after the defeat of Hitler, the British colonial government detained nearly the entire population of Kenya's largest ethnic minority, the Kikuyu-some one and a half million people. The compelling story of the system of prisons and work camps where thousands met their deaths has remained largely untold-the victim of a determined effort by the British to destroy all official records of their attempts to stop the Mau Mau uprising, the Kikuyu people's ultimately successful bid for Kenyan independence. Caroline Elkins, an assistant professor of history at Harvard University, spent a decade in London, Nairobi, and the Kenyan countryside interviewing hundreds of Kikuyu men and women who survived the British camps, as well as the British and African loyalists who detained them. The result is an unforgettable account of the unraveling of the British colonial empire in Kenya-a pivotal moment in twentieth- century history with chilling parallels to America's own imperial project. Imperial Reckoning is the winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.
Mukiwa opens with Peter Godwin, six years old, describing the murder of his neighbor by African guerillas, in 1964, pre-war Rhodesia. Godwin's parents are liberal whites, his mother a governement-employed doctor, his father an engineer. Through his innocent, young eyes, the story of the beginning of the end of white rule in Africa unfolds. The memoir follows Godwin's personal journey from the eve of war in Rhodesia to his experience fighting in the civil war that he detests to his adventures as a journalist in the new state of Zimbabwe, covering the bloody return to Black rule. With each transition Godwin's voice develops, from that of a boy to a young man to an adult returning to his homeland. This tale of the savage struggle between blacks and whites as the British Colonial period comes to an end is set against the vividly painted background of the myserious world of South Africa.
Country of My SkullAntjie Krog
Ever since Nelson Mandela dramatically walked out of prison in 1990 after twenty-seven years behind bars, South Africa has been undergoing a radical transformation. In one of the most miraculous events of the century, the oppressive system of apartheid was dismantled. Repressive laws mandating separation of the races were thrown out. The country, which had been carved into a crazy quilt that reserved the most prosperous areas for whites and the most desolate and backward for blacks, was reunited. The dreaded and dangerous security force, which for years had systematically tortured, spied upon, and harassed people of color and their white supporters, was dismantled. But how could this country--one of spectacular beauty and promise--come to terms with its ugly past? How could its people, whom the oppressive white government had pitted against one another, live side by side as friends and neighbors? To begin the healing process, Nelson Mandela created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, headed by the renowned cleric Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Established in 1995, the commission faced the awesome task of hearing the testimony of the victims of apartheid as well as the oppressors. Amnesty was granted to those who offered a full confession of any crimes associated with apartheid. Since the commission began its work, it has been the central player in a drama that has riveted the country. In this book, Antjie Krog, a South African journalist and poet who has covered the work of the commission, recounts the drama, the horrors, the wrenching personal stories of the victims and their families. Through the testimonies of victims of abuse and violence, from the appearance of Winnie Mandela to former South African president P. W. Botha's extraordinary courthouse press conference, this award-winning poet leads us on an amazing journey. Country of My Skull captures the complexity of the Truth Commission's work. The narrative is often traumatic, vivid, and provocative. Krog's powerful prose lures the reader actively and inventively through a mosaic of insights, impressions, and secret themes. This compelling tale is Antjie Krog's profound literary account of the mending of a country that was in colossal need of change. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Storied CityCharlie English
Two tales of a city: The historical race to “discover” one of the world’s most mythologized places, and the story of how a contemporary band of archivists and librarians, fighting to save its ancient manuscripts from destruction at the hands of al Qaeda, added another layer to the legend. "A fascinating interweaving of past and present: meticulously researched, powerfully written and riveting." –Ben Macintyre, author of Rogue Heroes and A Spy Among Friends To Westerners, the name “Timbuktu” long conjured a tantalizing paradise, an African El Dorado where even the slaves wore gold. Beginning in the late eighteenth century, a series of explorers gripped by the fever for “discovery” tried repeatedly to reach the fabled city. But one expedition after another went disastrously awry, succumbing to attack, the climate, and disease. Timbuktu was rich in another way too. A medieval center of learning, it was home to tens of thousands—according to some, hundreds of thousands—of ancient manuscripts, on subjects ranging from religion to poetry, law to history, pharmacology, and astronomy. When al-Qaeda–linked jihadists surged across Mali in 2012, threatening the existence of these precious documents, a remarkable thing happened: a team of librarians and archivists joined forces to spirit the manuscripts into hiding. Relying on extensive research and firsthand reporting, Charlie English expertly twines these two suspenseful strands into a fraught and fascinating account of one of the planet's extraordinary places, and the myths from which it has become inseparable.
A true story that rivals the travels of Burton or Stanley for excitement, and surpasses them in scientific achievements. In 1849 Heinrich Barth joined a small British expedition into unexplored regions of Islamic North and Central Africa. One by one his companions died, but he carried on alone, eventually reaching the fabled city of gold, Timbuktu. His five-and-a-half-year, 10,000-mile adventure ranks among the greatest journeys in the annals of exploration, and his discoveries are considered indispensable by modern scholars of Africa. Yet because of shifting politics, European preconceptions about Africa, and his own thorny personality, Barth has been almost forgotten. The general public has never heard of him, his epic journey, or his still-pertinent observations about Africa and Islam; and his monumental five-volume Travels and Discoveries in North and Central Africa is rare even in libraries. By delivering the first biography on Barth in English, Steve Kemper goes a long way to rescue this fascinating figure from obscurity.
A Savage War of PeaceAlistair Horne
The Algerian War lasted from 1954 to 1962. It brought down six French governments, led to the collapse of the Fourth Republic, returned de Gaulle to power, and came close to provoking a civil war on French soil. More than a million Muslim Algerians died in the conflict and as many European settlers were driven into exile. Above all, the war was marked by an unholy marriage of revolutionary terror and repressive torture. Nearly a half century has passed since this savagely fought war ended in Algeria’s independence, and yet—as Alistair Horne argues in his new preface to his now-classic work of history—its repercussions continue to be felt not only in Algeria and France, but throughout the world. Indeed from today’s vantage point the Algerian War looks like a full-dress rehearsal for the sort of amorphous struggle that convulsed the Balkans in the 1990s and that now ravages the Middle East, from Beirut to Baghdad—struggles in which questions of religion, nationalism, imperialism, and terrorism take on a new and increasingly lethal intensity. A Savage War of Peace is the definitive history of the Algerian War, a book that brings that terrible and complicated struggle to life with intelligence, assurance, and unflagging momentum. It is essential reading for our own violent times as well as a lasting monument to the historian’s art.
In the Footsteps of Mr. KurtzMichela Wrong
Known as "the Leopard," the president of Zaire for thirty-two years, Mobutu Sese Seko, showed all the cunning of his namesake -- seducing Western powers, buying up the opposition, and dominating his people with a devastating combination of brutality and charm. While the population was pauperized, he plundered the country's copper and diamond resources, downing pink champagne in his jungle palace like some modern-day reincarnation of Joseph Conrad's crazed station manager. Michela Wrong, a correspondent who witnessed Mobutu's last days, traces the rise and fall of the idealistic young journalist who became the stereotype of an African despot. Engrossing, highly readable, and as funny as it is tragic, In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz assesses the acts of the villains and the heroes in this fascinating story of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It was the war that changed everything, and yet it’s been mostly forgotten: in 1935, Italy invaded Ethiopia. It dominated newspaper headlines and newsreels. It inspired mass marches in Harlem, a play on Broadway, and independence movements in Africa. As the British Navy sailed into the Mediterranean for a white-knuckle showdown with Italian ships, riots broke out in major cities all over the United States. Italian planes dropped poison gas on Ethiopian troops, bombed Red Cross hospitals, and committed atrocities that were never deemed worthy of a war crimes tribunal. But unlike the many other depressing tales of Africa that crowd book shelves, this is a gripping thriller, a rousing tale of real-life heroism in which the Ethiopians come back from near destruction and win . Tunnelling through archive records, tracking down survivors still alive today, and uncovering never-before-seen photos, Jeff Pearce recreates a remarkable era and reveals astonishing new findings. He shows how the British Foreign Office abandoned the Ethiopians to their fate, while Franklin Roosevelt had an ambitious peace plan that could have changed the course of world history had Chamberlain not blocked him with his policy on Ethiopia. And Pearce shows how modern propaganda techniques, the post-war African world, and modern peace movements all were influenced by this crucial conflict a war in Africa that truly changed the world. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
Black Reconstruction in America (The Oxford W. E. B. Du Bois)Henry Louis Gates, Jr. & W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois was a public intellectual, sociologist, and activist on behalf of the African American community. He profoundly shaped black political culture in the United States through his founding role in the NAACP, as well as internationally through the Pan-African movement. Du Bois's sociological and historical research on African-American communities and culture broke ground in many areas, including the history of the post-Civil War Reconstruction period. Du Bois was also a prolific author of novels, autobiographical accounts, innumerable editorials and journalistic pieces, and several works of history. Black Reconstruction in America tells and interprets the story of the twenty years of Reconstruction from the point of view of newly liberated African Americans. Though lambasted by critics at the time of its publication in 1935, Black Reconstruction has only grown in historical and literary importance. In the 1960s it joined the canon of the most influential revisionist historical works. Its greatest achievement is weaving a credible, lyrical historical narrative of the hostile and politically fraught years of 1860-1880 with a powerful critical analysis of the harmful effects of democracy, including Jim Crow laws and other injustices. With a series introduction by editor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and an introduction by David Levering Lewis, this edition is essential for anyone interested in African American history.
Of AfricaWole Soyinka
A member of the unique generation of African writers and intellectuals who came of age in the last days of colonialism, Wole Soyinka has witnessed the promise of independence and lived through postcolonial failure. He deeply comprehends the pressing problems of Africa, and,an irrepressible essayist and a staunch critic of the oppressive boot, he unhesitatingly speaks out. In this magnificent new work, Soyinka offers a wide-ranging inquiry into Africa's culture, religion, history, imagination, and identity. He seeks to understand how the continent's history is entwined with the histories of others, while exploring Africa's truest assets: "its humanity, the quality and valuation of its own existence, and modes of managing its environment both physical and intangible (which includes the spiritual)." Fully grasping the extent of Africa's most challenging issues, Soyinka nevertheless refuses defeatism. With eloquence he analyzes problems ranging from the meaning of the past to the threat of theocracy. He asks hard questions about racial attitudes, inter-ethnic and religious violence, the viability of nations whose boundaries were laid out by outsiders, African identity on the continent and among displaced Africans, and more. Soyinka's exploration of Africa relocates the continent in the reader's imagination and maps a course toward an African future of peace and affirmation.
The Man-Eaters of Tsavo and Other East African AdventuresJohn Henry Patterson
Considered to be one of the most famous stories of man-eating lions in modern times, "The Man-Eaters of Tsavo" is the first-hand account of Lieutanant-Colonel John Henry Patterson's encounter with several man-eating lions during the building of the Uganda railway through British East Africa in 1898. Contained within this volume is the original 1907 book with over a hundred photographs and illustrations.
White GoldGiles Milton
The true story of white European slaves in eighteenth century Algiers, Tunis, and Morocco In the summer of 1716, a Cornish cabin boy named Thomas Pellow and fifty-one of his comrades were captured at sea by the Barbary corsairs. Their captors--Ali Hakem and his network of Islamic slave traders--had declared war on the whole of Christendom. France, Spain, England and Italy had suffered a series of devastating attacks. Thousands of Europeans had been snatched from their homes and taken in chains to the great slave markets of Algiers, Tunis and Salé in Morocco. Pellow and his shipmates were bought by the tyrannical sultan of Morocco, Moulay Ismail, who was constructing an imperial palace of such scale and grandeur that it would surpass every other building in the world, a palace built entirely by Christian slave labor. Resourceful, resilient, and quick-thinking, Pellow was selected by Moulay Ismail for special treatment, and was one of the fortunate few who survived to tell his tale. An extraordinary and shocking story, drawn from unpublished letters and manuscripts written by slaves and by the padres and ambassadors sent to free them, White Gold reveals a disturbing and long forgotten chapter of history.
From a new star of American journalism, a riveting murder mystery that reveals the forces roiling today's Africa From Rwanda to Sierra Leone, African countries recovering from tyranny and war are facing an impossible dilemma: to overlook past atrocities for the sake of peace or to seek catharsis through tribunals and truth commissions. Uganda chose the path of forgetting: after Idi Amin's reign was overthrown, the new government opted for amnesty for his henchmen rather than prolonged conflict. Ugandans tried to bury their history, but reminders of the truth were never far from view. A stray clue to the 1972 disappearance of Eliphaz Laki led his son to a shallow grave—and then to three executioners, among them Amin's chief of staff. Laki's discovery resulted in a trial that gave voice to a nation's past: as lawyers argued, tribes clashed, and Laki pressed for justice, the trial offered Ugandans a promise of the reckoning they had been so long denied. For four years, Andrew Rice followed the trial, crossing Uganda to investigate Amin's legacy and the limits of reconciliation. At once a mystery, a historical accounting, and a portrait of modern Africa, The Teeth May Smile But the Heart Does Not Forget is above all an exploration of how -- and whether -- the past can be laid to rest. One of Kirkus Reviews ' Best Books of 2009
The most important historical and journalistic portrait to date of a nation whose destiny will determine the fate of a continent. A brutally honest exposé, After Mandela provides a sobering portrait of a country caught between a democratic future and a political meltdown. Recent works have focused primarily on Nelson Mandela’s transcendent story. But Douglas Foster, a leading South Africa authority with early, unprecedented access to President Zuma and to the next generation in the Mandela family, traces the nation’s entire post-apartheid arc, from its celebrated beginnings under “Madiba” to Thabo Mbeki’s tumultuous rule to the ferocious battle between Mbeki and Jacob Zuma. Foster tells this story not only from the point of view of the emerging black elite but also, drawing on hundreds of rare interviews over a six-year period, from the perspectives of ordinary citizens, including an HIV-infected teenager living outside Johannesburg and a homeless orphan in Cape Town. This is the long-awaited, revisionist account of a country whose recent history has been not just neglected but largely ignored by the West.
Colour BarSusan Williams
Sir Seretse Khama, the first President of Botswana and heir apparent to the kingship of the Bangwato people, brought independence and great prosperity to his nation after colonial rule. But for six long years from 1950, Seretse had been forced into exile in England, banned from his own country. His crime? To fall in love and marry a young, white English girl, Ruth Williams. Delving into newly released records, Susan Williams tells Seretse and Ruth's story - a shocking account of how the British Government conspired with apartheid South Africa to prevent the mixed-race royal couple returning home. But it is also an inspiring, triumphant tale of hope, courage and true love as with tenacity and great dignity Seretse and Ruth and the Bangwato people ovecome prejudice in their fight for justice.
A Brief History of South AfricaDavid S Warner
In this ebook you will find a brief history of South Africa. Starting with the arrival of the first Europeans, this book will give an overview of apartheid and detail the political and social development of the country over all those years into the democracy that it is today. South African history is marked by terrible racial discrimination and divisiveness, but also of uprising and triumph and democracy. Massive obstacles have been overcome to bring South Africa to where it is today, but there is nevertheless a long way for the nation to go as racial tensions and inequalities stubbornly remain. The dream, of a single nation, united yet full of diversity, is still a possibility and is closer to realization than ever before. To learn more about a nation that recently hosted the 2010 Fifa World Cup download this guide today!
The Invisible CureHelen Epstein
A New York Times Notable Book of 2007 The Invisible Cure is an account of Africa's AIDS epidemic from the inside--a revelatory dispatch from the intersection of village life, government intervention, and international aid. Helen Epstein left her job in the US in 1993 to move to Uganda, where she began work on a test vaccine for HIV. Once there, she met patients, doctors, politicians, and aid workers, and began exploring the problem of AIDS in Africa through the lenses of medicine, politics, economics, and sociology. Amid the catastrophic failure to reverse the epidemic, she discovered a village-based solution that could prove more effective than any network of government intervention and international aid, an intuitive response that calls into question many of the fundamental assumptions about the AIDS in Africa. Written with conviction, knowledge, and insight, The Invisible Cure will change how we think about the worst health crisis of the past century--and indeed about every issue of global public health.
The 1994 Rwandan GenocideThe New York Times
This collection of New York Times articles covers the 1994 Rwandan genocide, a wave of violence that followed the death of Rwanda's President, Juvenal Habyarimana, in a suspicious plane crash. Large scale killings of Hutu moderates and Tutsis followed, affecting citizens in the capital, in villages and in the countryside. After months of fighting during which more than 800,000 died, the RPF routed the Rwandan army and ousted the government.
The first popular history of the former American slaves who founded, ruled, and lost Africa's first republic In 1820, a group of about eighty African Americans reversed the course of history and sailed back to Africa, to a place they would name after liberty itself. They went under the banner of the American Colonization Society, a white philanthropic organization with a dual agenda: to rid America of its blacks, and to convert Africans to Christianity. The settlers staked out a beachhead; their numbers grew as more boats arrived; and after breaking free from their white overseers, they founded Liberia—Africa's first black republic—in 1847. James Ciment's Another America is the first full account of this dramatic experiment. With empathy and a sharp eye for human foibles, Ciment reveals that the Americo-Liberians struggled to live up to their high ideals. They wrote a stirring Declaration of Independence but re-created the social order of antebellum Dixie, with themselves as the master caste. Building plantations, holding elegant soirees, and exploiting and even helping enslave the native Liberians, the persecuted became the persecutors—until a lowly native sergeant murdered their president in 1980, ending 133 years of Americo rule. The rich cast of characters in Another America rivals that of any novel. We encounter Marcus Garvey, who coaxed his followers toward Liberia in the 1920s, and the rubber king Harvey Firestone, who built his empire on the backs of native Liberians. Among the Americoes themselves, we meet the brilliant intellectual Edward Blyden, one of the first black nationalists; the Baltimore-born explorer Benjamin Anderson, seeking a legendary city of gold in the Liberian hinterland; and President William Tubman, a descendant of Georgia slaves, whose economic policies brought Cadillacs to the streets of Monrovia, the Liberian capital. And then there are the natives, men like Joseph Samson, who was adopted by a prominent Americo family and later presided over the execution of his foster father during the 1980 coup. In making Liberia, the Americoes transplanted the virtues and vices of their country of birth. The inspiring and troubled history they created is, to a remarkable degree, the mirror image of our own.
Depending on their master, slaves were punished relentlessly to keep them in line. This led to many slave rebellions and uprisings that were never duly reported in history. It was a slave's curse to be owned by a cruel master.
The African Exploration AnthologyRichard Francis Burton, John Hanning Speke, David Livingstone, Henry Morton Stanley, Mungo Park, Samuel White Baker & Mary H. Kingsley
In the latter half of the 19th Century a group of particularly intrepid explorers navigated their way into the interior of Africa, documenting what they saw, mapping the territory they crossed, and competing with one another to be the first to discover the fabled 'source of the Nile'. The dangers they faced in order to achieve their aims required incredible courage and endurance - from deadly wildlife such as lions, crocodiles and hippos, to the even deadlier unseen threats of Malaria, tropical ulcers and infection, or the risks of violence from the unknown tribes they encountered. Of the seven explorers in this book, five of the texts relate to this era in particular, being the accounts of: Richard Francis Burton, John Hanning Speke, David Livingstone, Henry Morton Stanley and Samuel W. Baker. The other two accounts are by Mungo Park - one of the earliest 18th Century explorers of Africa - and Mary H. Kingsley, the first solo female explorer to document the account of her personal travels. The texts in this Anthology are unexpurgated, and include appendices, but have all been formatted and optimized, and include selected photos and maps from the expeditions themselves.
The Masque of AfricaV. S. Naipaul
Like all of V. S. Naipaul’s “travel” books, The Masque of Africa encompasses a much larger narrative and purpose: to judge the effects of belief (in indigenous animisms, the foreign religions of Christianity and Islam, the cults of leaders and mythical history) upon the progress of civilization. From V. S. Naipaul: “For my travel books I travel on a theme. And the theme of The Masque of Africa is African belief. I begin in Uganda, at the center of the continent, do Ghana and Nigeria, the Ivory Coast and Gabon, and end at the bottom of the continent, in South Africa. My theme is belief, not political or economical life; and yet at the bottom of the continent the political realities are so overwhelming that they have to be taken into account. “Perhaps an unspoken aspect of my inquiry was the possibility of the subversion of old Africa by the ways of the outside world. The theme held until I got to the South, when the clash of the two ways of thinking and believing became far too one-sided. The skyscrapers of Johannesburg didn’t rest on sand. The older world of magic felt fragile, but at the same time had an enduring quality. You felt that it would survive any calamity. “I had expected that over the great size of Africa the practices of magic would significantly vary. But they didn’t. The diviners everywhere wanted to ‘throw the bones’ to read the future, and the idea of ‘energy’ remained a constant, to be tapped into by the ritual sacrifice of body parts. In South Africa body parts, mainly of animals, but also of men and women, made a mixture of ‘battle medicine.’ To witness this, to be given some idea of its power, was to be taken far back to the beginning of things. “To reach that beginning was the purpose of my book.” The Masque of Africa is a masterly achievement by one of the world’s keenest observers and one of its greatest writers. From the Hardcover edition.
Nine Faces Of KenyaElspeth Huxley
In this marvelous anthology, Elspeth Huxley, our best and most popular writer on Africa, has drawn on her unparalleled knowledge of Kenya and its literature to present a fully rounded portrait of one of the most fascinating countries in the world. In nine sections focusing on exploration, travel, settlement, war, hunting, wildlife, environment, life-styles, and legend and poetry, using only first-hand accounts, she guides the reader through the story of Kenya from AD100 to the present with her characteristic candour and directness.
I Didn't Do It for YouMichela Wrong
Scarred by decades of conflict and occupation, the craggy African nation of Eritrea has weathered the world's longest-running guerrilla war. The dogged determination that secured victory against Ethiopia, its giant neighbor, is woven into the national psyche, the product of cynical foreign interventions. Fascist Italy wanted Eritrea as the springboard for a new, racially pure Roman empire; Britain sold off its industry for scrap; the United States needed a base for its state-of-the-art spy station; and the Soviet Union used it as a pawn in a proxy war. In I Didn't Do It for You, Michela Wrong reveals the breathtaking abuses this tiny nation has suffered and, with a sharp eye for detail and a taste for the incongruous, tells the story of colonialism itself and how international power politics can play havoc with a country's destiny.
100 Amazing Facts About the NegroJ.A. Rogers
The journalist and historian Joel Augustus Rogers (1880-1966) was one of the greatest popularizers of African history in the 20th century.
The Emperor: Downfall of an AutocratRyzard Kapuscinski
After Haile Selassie was deposed in 1974, Ryszard Kapuściński—Poland’s top foreign correspondent—went to Ethiopia to piece together a firsthand account of how the Emperor governed his country and why he fell from power. At great risk to himself, Kapuściński interviewed members of the imperial circle who had gone into hiding. The result is this remarkable book, an extraordinary study of power anywhere.
A History of South Africa, Fourth EditionLeonard Thompson
A magisterial history of South Africa, from the earliest known human inhabitation of the region to the present. Lynn Berat updates this classic text with a new chapter chronicling the first presidential term of Mbeki and ending with the celebrations of the centenary of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress in January 2012. “A history that is both accurate and authentic, written in a delightful literary style.”—Archbishop Desmond Tutu “Should become the standard general text for South African history. . . . Recommended for college classes and anyone interested in obtaining a historical framework in which to place events occurring in South Africa today.”—Roger B. Beck, History: Reviews of New Books
The Darker NationsVijay Prashad
Here, from a brilliant young writer, is a paradigm-shifting history of both a utopian concept and global movement the idea of the Third World. The Darker Nations traces the intellectual origins and the political history of the twentieth century attempt to knit together the world’s impoverished countries in opposition to the United States and Soviet spheres of influence in the decades following World War II. Spanning every continent of the global South, Vijay Prashad’s fascinating narrative takes us from the birth of postcolonial nations after World War II to the downfall and corruption of nationalist regimes. A breakthrough book of cutting-edge scholarship, it includes vivid portraits of Third World giants like India’s Nehru, Egypt’s Nasser, and Indonesia’s Sukarno as well as scores of extraordinary but now-forgotten intellectuals, artists, and freedom fighters. The Darker Nations restores to memory the vibrant though flawed idea of the Third World, whose demise, Prashad ultimately argues, has produced a much impoverished international political arena.
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