Top African History Ebooks

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River of the Gods - Candice Millard Cover Art

River of the Gods

River of the Gods Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile by Candice Millard

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The harrowing story of one of the great feats of exploration of all time and its complicated legacy—from the New York Times bestselling author of The River of Doubt and Destiny of the Republic For millennia the location of the Nile River’s headwaters was shrouded in mystery. In the 19th century, there was  a frenzy of interest in ancient Egypt. At the same time, European powers sent off waves of explorations intended to map the unknown corners of the globe – and extend their colonial empires.   Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke were sent by the Royal Geographical Society to claim the prize for England. Burton spoke twenty-nine languages, and was a decorated soldier. He was also mercurial, subtle, and an iconoclastic atheist. Speke was a young aristocrat and Army officer determined to make his mark, passionate about hunting, Burton’s opposite in temperament and beliefs.   From the start the two men clashed. They would endure tremendous hardships, illness, and constant setbacks. Two years in, deep in the African interior, Burton became too sick to press on, but Speke did, and claimed he found the source in a great lake that he christened Lake Victoria. When they returned to England, Speke rushed to take credit, disparaging Burton. Burton disputed his claim, and Speke launched another expedition to Africa to prove it. The two became venomous enemies, with the public siding with the more charismatic Burton, to Speke’s great envy. The day before they were to publicly debate,Speke shot himself.   Yet there was a third man on both expeditions, his name obscured by imperial annals, whose exploits were even more extraordinary. This was Sidi Mubarak Bombay, who was enslaved and shipped from his home village in East Africa to India. When the man who purchased him died, he made his way into the local Sultan’s army, and eventually traveled back to Africa, where he used his resourcefulness, linguistic prowess and raw courage to forge a living as a guide. Without Bombay and men like him, who led, carried, and protected the expedition, neither Englishman would have come close to the headwaters of the Nile, or perhaps even survived.   In River of the Gods Candice Millard has written another peerless story of courage and adventure, set against the backdrop of the race to exploit Africa by the colonial powers.

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King Leopold's Ghost - Adam Hochschild Cover Art

King Leopold's Ghost

King Leopold's Ghost A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild

 "An enthralling story . . . A work of history that reads like a novel." — Christian Science Monitor “As Hochschild’s brilliant book demonstrates, the great Congo scandal prefigured our own times . . . This book must be read and reread.” — Los Angeles Times Book Review   In the late nineteenth century, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold II of Belgium carried out a brutal plundering of the territory surrounding the Congo River. Ultimately slashing the area’s population by ten million, he still managed to shrewdly cultivate his reputation as a great humanitarian. A tale far richer than any novelist could invent , King Leopold’s Ghost is the horrifying account of a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions. It is also the deeply moving portrait of those who defied Leopold: African rebel leaders who fought against hopeless odds and a brave handful of missionaries, travelers, and young idealists who went to Africa for work or adventure but unexpectedly found themselves witnesses to a holocaust and participants in the twentieth century’s first great human rights movement. A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist A New York Times Notable Book

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Mukiwa - Peter Godwin Cover Art

Mukiwa

Mukiwa A White Boy in Africa by Peter Godwin

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.

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Red Rubber - Edmund Dene Morel Cover Art

Red Rubber

Red Rubber King Leopold II’s Regime; the Belgian Slave Trade in the Congo over Twenty Years, 1890-1910 by Edmund Dene Morel

The terrifying reign of Leopold II, King of Belgium, was marked by atrocities in the Congo – murder, enslavement and violence was used in pursuit of raw rubber. Following advances in industry, rubber became a valuable commodity – at first, the Congolese thought this new trade would bring prosperity to their country. Instead, what ensued was murderous and exploitative barbarity of a scale never seen in Africa. Between 1890 and 1910, the Belgian forces occupying the Congo in Africa perpetrated horrific atrocities against the indigenous population. King Leopold II had brought Congo directly under his control. He permitted his soldiers to commit mass murder and enslavement, rapes, mass amputations, beatings and degradations of the population. Millions of Congolese died in the midst of this atrocious misrule. Belgium however profited enormously, and Leopold II spent some of his revenues from rubber sales on grandiose public building projects. Edmund Dene Morel was a British politician and campaigner who worked for years investigating and publicizing the brutality of Belgian rule in the Congo. He was appalled when Britain stood idly by as Leopold II’s tyranny ensued. Morel first published this book in 1906, while this reprint is derived from an updated edition of 1919; by this time the king had died, having finally been forced to surrender his control of the colony to the government of Belgium.

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Empire of Rubber - Gregg Mitman Cover Art

Empire of Rubber

Empire of Rubber Firestone’s Scramble for Land and Power in Liberia by Gregg Mitman

An ambitious and shocking exposé of America’s hidden empire in Liberia, run by the storied Firestone corporation, and its long shadow In the early 1920s, Americans owned 80 percent of the world’s automobiles and consumed 75 percent of the world’s rubber. But only one percent of the world’s rubber grew under the U.S. flag, creating a bottleneck that hampered the nation’s explosive economic expansion. To solve its conundrum, the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company turned to a tiny West African nation, Liberia, founded in 1847 as a free Black republic. Empire of Rubber tells a sweeping story of capitalism, racial exploitation, and environmental devastation, as Firestone transformed Liberia into America’s rubber empire. Historian and filmmaker Gregg Mitman scoured remote archives to unearth a history of promises unfulfilled for the vast numbers of Liberians who toiled on rubber plantations built on taken land. Mitman reveals a history of racial segregation and medical experimentation that reflected Jim Crow America—on African soil. As Firestone reaped fortunes, wealth and power concentrated in the hands of a few elites, fostering widespread inequalities that fed unrest, rebellions and, eventually, civil war. A riveting narrative of ecology and disease, of commerce and science, and of racial politics and political maneuvering, Empire of Rubber uncovers the hidden story of a corporate empire whose tentacles reach into the present.

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MANSA MUSA: Emperor of The Wealthy Mali Empire - History Titans Cover Art

MANSA MUSA: Emperor of The Wealthy Mali Empire

MANSA MUSA: Emperor of The Wealthy Mali Empire by History Titans

If you're familiar with Mansa Musa you might expect the headline to read, 'Mansa Musa – the wealthiest person that ever lived.' But in reality, he was more than just a rich person. Every source or article would either emphasize the subject of Mansa Musa and his wealth, or his famous pilgrimage to Mecca. Even though his Hajj expedition was fascinating due to the numerous events that occurred during the journey, there are many more interesting stories about his life. This book is about how he took over the throne, how his rule influenced the economy of the Mali Empire, and how his empire accumulated more wealth after his return. The book also covers the grandeur of cities like Timbuktu and Djenne that were converted into cultural and educational centers. Mansa Musa was a generous king who contributed a lot of his wealth and efforts towards the development of the Empire of Mali. He brought a lot of people with him to build universities, schools, and mosques to spread educational values and make Timbuktu a learning center. He also played an important part in spreading the religion of Islam. If you're intrigued about his life tales and his impact on West Africa and the world, this book is the right source for you.

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Born in Blackness: Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World, 1471 to the Second World War - Howard W. French Cover Art

Born in Blackness: Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World, 1471 to the Second World War

Born in Blackness: Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World, 1471 to the Second World War by Howard W. French

Revealing the central yet intentionally obliterated role of Africa in the creation of modernity, Born in Blackness vitally reframes our understanding of world history. Traditional accounts of the making of the modern world afford a place of primacy to European history. Some credit the fifteenth-century Age of Discovery and the maritime connection it established between West and East; others the accidental unearthing of the “New World.” Still others point to the development of the scientific method, or the spread of Judeo-Christian beliefs; and so on, ad infinitum. The history of Africa, by contrast, has long been relegated to the remote outskirts of our global story. What if, instead, we put Africa and Africans at the very center of our thinking about the origins of modernity? In a sweeping narrative spanning more than six centuries, Howard W. French does just that, for Born in Blackness vitally reframes the story of medieval and emerging Africa, demonstrating how the economic ascendancy of Europe, the anchoring of democracy in the West, and the fulfillment of so-called Enlightenment ideals all grew out of Europe’s dehumanizing engagement with the “dark” continent. In fact, French reveals, the first impetus for the Age of Discovery was not—as we are so often told, even today—Europe’s yearning for ties with Asia, but rather its centuries-old desire to forge a trade in gold with legendarily rich Black societies sequestered away in the heart of West Africa. Creating a historical narrative that begins with the commencement of commercial relations between Portugal and Africa in the fifteenth century and ends with the onset of World War II, Born in Blackness interweaves precise historical detail with poignant, personal reportage. In so doing, it dramatically retrieves the lives of major African historical figures, from the unimaginably rich medieval emperors who traded with the Near East and beyond, to the Kongo sovereigns who heroically battled seventeenth-century European powers, to the ex-slaves who liberated Haitians from bondage and profoundly altered the course of American history. While French cogently demonstrates the centrality of Africa to the rise of the modern world, Born in Blackness becomes, at the same time, a far more significant narrative, one that reveals a long-concealed history of trivialization and, more often, elision in depictions of African history throughout the last five hundred years. As French shows, the achievements of sovereign African nations and their now-far-flung peoples have time and again been etiolated and deliberately erased from modern history. As the West ascended, their stories—siloed and piecemeal—were swept into secluded corners, thus setting the stage for the hagiographic “rise of the West” theories that have endured to this day. “Capacious and compelling” (Laurent Dubois), Born in Blackness is epic history on the grand scale. In the lofty tradition of bold, revisionist narratives, it reframes the story of gold and tobacco, sugar and cotton—and of the greatest “commodity” of them all, the twelve million people who were brought in chains from Africa to the “New World,” whose reclaimed lives shed a harsh light on our present world.

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A Fistful of Shells - Toby Green Cover Art

A Fistful of Shells

A Fistful of Shells West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution by Toby Green

By the time the “Scramble for Africa” among European colonial powers began in the late nineteenth century, Africa had already been globally connected for centuries. Its gold had fueled the economies of Europe and the Islamic world for nearly a millennium, and the sophisticated kingdoms spanning its west coast had traded with Europeans since the fifteenth century. Until at least 1650, this was a trade of equals, using a variety of currencies—most importantly, cowrie shells imported from the Maldives and nzimbu shells imported from Brazil. But, as the slave trade grew, African kingdoms began to lose prominence in the growing global economy. We have been living with the effects of this shift ever since.  With A Fistful of Shells, Toby Green transforms our view of West and West-Central Africa by reconstructing the world of these kingdoms, which revolved around trade, diplomacy, complex religious beliefs, and the production of art. Green shows how the slave trade led to economic disparities that caused African kingdoms to lose relative political and economic power. The concentration of money in the hands of Atlantic elites in and outside these kingdoms brought about a revolutionary nineteenth century in Africa, parallel to the upheavals then taking place in Europe and America. Yet political fragmentation following the fall of African aristocracies produced radically different results as European colonization took hold. Drawing not just on written histories, but on archival research in nine countries, art, oral history, archaeology, and letters, Green lays bare the transformations that have shaped world politics and the global economy since the fifteenth century and paints a new and masterful portrait of West Africa, past and present.

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The Explorers - Martin Dugard Cover Art

The Explorers

The Explorers A Story of Fearless Outcasts, Blundering Geniuses, and Impossible Success by Martin 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.

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A History of South Africa, Fourth Edition - Leonard Thompson Cover Art

A History of South Africa, Fourth Edition

A History of South Africa, Fourth Edition by Leonard 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

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The Epic of Gilgamish - R. Campbell Thompson Cover Art

The Epic of Gilgamish

The Epic of Gilgamish by R. Campbell Thompson

The Epic of Gilgamish Translated by R. Campbell Thompson A great king, strong as the stars in Heaven. Enkidu, a wild and mighty hero, is created by the gods to challenge the arrogant King Gilgamesh. But instead of killing each other, the two become friends. Travelling together to the Cedar Forest, they fight and slay the evil monster Humbaba. But when Enkidu is killed, his death haunts and breaks the mighty Gilgamesh. Terrified of mortality, he resolves to find the secret of eternal life.

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Black Africa - Cheikh Anta Diop Cover Art

Black Africa

Black Africa The Economic and Cultural Basis for a Federated State by Cheikh Anta Diop

This expanded edition continues Diop's campaign for the political and economic unification of the nations of black Africa. It concludes with a lengthy interview with Diop.

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African Game Trails - Theodore Roosevelt Cover Art

African Game Trails

African Game Trails by Theodore Roosevelt

The twenty-sixth president of the United States was also a world-renowned hunter, conservationist, soldier, and scholar. In 1908 he took a long safari holiday in East Africa with his son Kermit. His account of this adventure is as remarkably fresh today as it was when these adventures on the veldt were first published. Roosevelt describes the excitement of the chase, the people he met (including such famous hunters as Cunninghame and Selous), and flora and fauna he collected in the name of science. Long out of print, this classic is one of the preeminent examples of Africana, and belongs on every collector's shelf. Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) was a heroic figure who served as the 26th president of the United States. During his eight years in office, he steered the United States more actively into world politics. Teddy "Rough Riders" Roosevelt was also a military leader, a prosecutor, a naturalist, and a prolific writer.  

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Three Sips of Gin - Timothy Bax Cover Art

Three Sips of Gin

Three Sips of Gin Dominating the Battlespace with Rhodesia's Elite Selous Scouts by Timothy Bax

The memoir of a special forces veteran of the Rhodesian War, with over a hundred photos included.   Nothing terrorized Russian and Chinese-backed guerillas fighting Rhodesia’s bush war in the 1970s more than the famed Selous Scouts. The name of the unit struck fear in the hearts of even the most battle-hardened—rather than speak it, they referred to its soldiers simply as Skuzapu, or pickpockets. History has recorded the regiment as being one of the deadliest and most effective killing machines in modern counter-insurgency warfare.   In this book, a veteran of the unit shares his stories of childhood in colonial Africa with his British family, documenting a world where Foreign Service employees gathered at “the club” to find company and alcohol, leopards prowled the night, and his mother knew how to use a gun. Eventually he would move to Canada, only to feel drawn back to the continent where he grew up. There he would be recruited into the Selous Scouts, comprised of specially selected black and white soldiers of the Rhodesian army, supplemented with hardcore terrorists captured on the battlefield. Posing as communist guerrillas, members of this elite Special Forces unit would slip silently into the night to seek out insurgents in a deadly game of hide-and-seek played out between gangs and counter-gangs in the harsh and unforgiving landscape of the African bush.   By the mid-1970s, the Selous Scouts had begun to dominate Rhodesia’s battle space. Working in conjunction with the elite airborne assault troops of the Rhodesian Light Infantry, the Selous Scouts accounted for an extraordinarily high proportion of enemy casualties. Not content with restricting themselves to hunting guerrillas inside Rhodesia, they began conducting external vehicle-borne assaults against camps situated deep inside neighboring countries.   Recounting his experiences while surviving in this cauldron of battle, while also relating with dry wit the day-to-day details and absurdities of the world that surrounded him, Timothy Bax provides a rare look at this time and place.

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The Wretched of the Earth - Frantz Fanon Cover Art

The Wretched of the Earth

The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon

A distinguished psychiatrist from Martinique who took part in the Algerian Nationalist Movement, Frantz Fanon was one of the most important theorists of revolutionary struggle, colonialism, and racial difference in history. Fanonís masterwork is a classic alongside Edward Saidís Orientalism or The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and it is now available in a new translation that updates its language for a new generation of readers. The Wretched of the Earth is a brilliant analysis of the psychology of the colonized and their path to liberation. Bearing singular insight into the rage and frustration of colonized peoples, and the role of violence in effecting historical change, the book incisively attacks the twin perils of postindependence colonial politics: the disenfranchisement of the masses by the elites on the one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the other. Fanonís analysis, a veritable handbook of social reorganization for leaders of emerging nations, has been reflected all too clearly in the corruption and violence that has plagued present-day Africa. The Wretched of the Earth has had a major impact on civil rights, anticolonialism, and black consciousness movements around the world

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They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky - Benjamin Ajak, Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng & Judy A. Bernstein Cover Art

They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky

They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky The True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan by Benjamin Ajak, Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng & Judy A. Bernstein

The inspiring story of three young Sudanese boys who were driven from their homes by civil war and began an epic odyssey of survival, facing life-threatening perils, ultimately finding their way to a new life in America. 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.

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The Nuer - E. E. Evans-Pritchard Cover Art

The Nuer

The Nuer A Description of the Modes of Livelihood and Political Institutions of a Nilotic People by E. E. Evans-Pritchard

In 1930, anthropologist E. E. Evans-Pritchard journeyed deep into the Sudanese savanna to uncover the mysteries of the nomadic Nuer tribes – this book presents his compelling discoveries. The harsh dry plains of the Sudan cannot sustain sufficient agriculture for the tribes; to thrive, the Nuer move their camps in accordance with the seasons. At the core of daily life are cattle whose milk and meat sustain the people; the cow’s pliant, agreeable nature is ideal for a tribe to manage. Nuer children are raised to learn how to properly treat and nurture cattle, through milking and assisting in the birth of new calves, that the tribe may continue to flourish thereby. Conflict within the tribes, or with outside enemies, often involves the control of cattle herds. More than eighty maps, charts and photographs are included in this study, helping the reader to understand the topics. The author sought to live with the Nuer; it took months for him to achieve acceptance, and only once he had gained a measure of trust did the tribe demonstrate their unique ways of living and respond to questions. Though the Nuer are by nature wary and reserved, once he was accepted the author beheld their kindness and bonds to one another. Evans-Pritchard went on to revisit the Nuer on multiple occasions, writing further ethnological researches on their religious practices, political structures, and unique way of life.

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A Quick Introduction to the African Continent - Geography Books for Kids Age 9-12  Children's Geography & Culture Books - Baby Professor Cover Art

A Quick Introduction to the African Continent - Geography Books for Kids Age 9-12 Children's Geography & Culture Books

A Quick Introduction to the African Continent - Geography Books for Kids Age 9-12 Children's Geography & Culture Books by Baby Professor

What is in Africa? There’s the safari where wildlife is seen. There are the tribes that have resisted technology for so many years. But did you know that Africa is also a hub of developments? It’s a continent where the past meets the present. Learn and explore Africa by going through the pages of this interesting picture book for 9- to 12-year-olds. Grab a copy now!

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Mitología egipcia: Mitos egipcios fascinantes de los dioses, diosas y criaturas legendarias egipcias - Matt Clayton Cover Art

Mitología egipcia: Mitos egipcios fascinantes de los dioses, diosas y criaturas legendarias egipcias

Mitología egipcia: Mitos egipcios fascinantes de los dioses, diosas y criaturas legendarias egipcias by Matt Clayton

Una fascinante colección de los mitos egipcios más populares Puede ser difícil encontrar una colección completa y atractiva de mitos egipcios teniendo en cuenta el número de versiones y traducciones disponibles. Sin embargo, no busque más, ya que ha encontrado un libro fascinante que incluye muchos de los mitos egipcios más populares en un formato fácil de leer. Este libro está dividido en cuatro partes. La primera, titulada "Narrativas cosmológicas", contiene mitos sobre la creación del mundo y cómo los antiguos egipcios comprendieron la estructura del inframundo y el paso a la vida después de la muerte. "Mitos de los Dioses" contiene los grandes mitos de los dioses Ra, Isis, Osiris, Horus y Set. La tercera sección contiene dos mitos políticos, el cuento del nacimiento de Hatshepsut y "El cuento de la hambruna". Ambas son historias creadas por los gobernantes para consolidar su poder reclamando la intervención y el favor divino. Otras historias, similares a lo que hoy llamaríamos cuentos de hadas, componen la última sección del libro, y están llenas de maravillas mágicas, animales que hablan y dioses que se revelan a los seres humanos y toman un papel activo en sus asuntos. En este libro, encontrará los siguientes mitos y temas egipcios: Mitos de la creaciónEl nacimiento de OsirisLa historia de Isis y OsirisEl lamento de Isis y NeftisLa batalla de Horus y SetEl nacimiento de la reina HatshepsutLa historia de la hambrunaEl náufragoLos dos hermanosLa princesa y el demonioLa toma de Jopeos historias de Setne Khamwas Debido a que el panteón egipcio era tan extenso y fluido, se incluye un selecto glosario al final. El glosario también contiene definiciones de términos selectos que son importantes para comprender algunos de los conceptos de las historias, como la clasificación egipcia de las partes del alma. También encontrará una breve línea de tiempo de la historia del antiguo Egipto tras la introducción. ¡Obtenga este libro ahora para aprender más sobre la mitología egipcia!

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The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu - Joshua Hammer Cover Art

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua 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 ) from the author of The Falcon Thief . 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: 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.

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There Was a Country - Chinua Achebe Cover Art

There Was a Country

There Was a Country A Memoir by Chinua 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.

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Playing the Enemy - John Carlin Cover Art

Playing the Enemy

Playing the Enemy Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation by John Carlin

Read the book that inspired the Academy Award and Golden Globe winning 2009 film INVICTUS featuring Morgan Freeman and Matt Daymon, directed by Clint Eastwood. 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.

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South Africa: History in an Hour - Anthony Holmes Cover Art

South Africa: History in an Hour

South Africa: History in an Hour by Anthony 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.

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Into Africa - Thomas Sterling Cover Art

Into Africa

Into Africa by Thomas 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.

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Invictus - John Carlin Cover Art

Invictus

Invictus Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation by John Carlin

Read the book that inspired the Academy Award and Golden Globe winning  2009 film INVICTUS featuring Morgan Freeman and Matt Daymon, directed by Clint Eastwood. 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.

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Machete Season - Jean Hatzfeld & Linda Coverdale Cover Art

Machete Season

Machete Season The Killers in Rwanda Speak by Jean 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.

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Lose Your Mother - Saidiya Hartman Cover Art

Lose Your Mother

Lose Your Mother A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route by Saidiya 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.

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The African Origin of Civilization - Cheikh Anta Diop Cover Art

The African Origin of Civilization

The African Origin of Civilization Myth or Reality by Cheikh 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.

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The Fall of the Ottomans - Eugene Rogan Cover Art

The Fall of the Ottomans

The Fall of the Ottomans The Great War in the Middle East by Eugene Rogan

The thrilling and definitive history of World War I in the Middle East By 1914 the powers of Europe were sliding inexorably toward war, and they pulled the Middle East along with them into one of the most destructive conflicts in human history. In The Fall of the Ottomans , award-winning historian Eugene Rogan brings the First World War and its immediate aftermath in the Middle East to vivid life, uncovering the often ignored story of the region's crucial role in the conflict. Unlike the static killing fields of the Western Front, the war in the Middle East was fast-moving and unpredictable, with the Turks inflicting decisive defeats on the Entente in Gallipoli, Mesopotamia, and Gaza before the tide of battle turned in the Allies' favor. The postwar settlement led to the partition of Ottoman lands, laying the groundwork for the ongoing conflicts that continue to plague the modern Arab world. A sweeping narrative of battles and political intrigue from Gallipoli to Arabia, The Fall of the Ottomans is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the Great War and the making of the modern Middle East.

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Black Reconstruction in America (The Oxford W. E. B. Du Bois) - Henry Louis Gates, Jr. & W. E. B. Du Bois Cover Art

Black Reconstruction in America (The Oxford W. E. B. Du Bois)

Black Reconstruction in America (The Oxford W. E. B. Du Bois) An Essay Toward a History of the Part Which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America, 1860-1880 by 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.

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Between Man and Beast - Monte Reel Cover Art

Between Man and Beast

Between Man and Beast An Unlikely Explorer and the African Adventure the Victorian World by Storm by Monte Reel

In 1856, Paul Du Chaillu ventured into the African jungle in search of a mythic beast, the gorilla. After wild encounters with vicious cannibals, deadly snakes, and tribal kings, Du Chaillu emerged with 20 preserved gorilla skins—two of which were stuffed and brought on tour—and walked smack dab into the biggest scientific debate of the time: Darwin's theory of evolution. Quickly, Du Chaillu's trophies went from objects of wonder to key pieces in an all-out intellectual war. With a wide range of characters, including Abraham Lincoln, Arthur Conan Doyle, P.T Barnum, Thackeray, and of course, Charles Darwin, this is a one of a kind book about a singular moment in history.

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The Looting Machine - Tom Burgis Cover Art

The Looting Machine

The Looting Machine Warlords, Oligarchs, Corporations, Smugglers, and the Theft of Africa's Wealth by Tom Burgis

One of Financial Times' Books of the Year, 2015 The trade in oil, gas, gems, metals and rare earth minerals wreaks havoc in Africa. During the years when Brazil, India, China and the other "emerging markets" have transformed their economies, Africa's resource states remained tethered to the bottom of the industrial supply chain. While Africa accounts for about 30 per cent of the world's reserves of hydrocarbons and minerals and 14 per cent of the world's population, its share of global manufacturing stood in 2011 exactly where it stood in 2000: at 1 percent. In his first book, The Looting Machine , Tom Burgis exposes the truth about the African development miracle: for the resource states, it's a mirage. The oil, copper, diamonds, gold and coltan deposits attract a global network of traders, bankers, corporate extractors and investors who combine with venal political cabals to loot the states' value. And the vagaries of resource-dependent economies could pitch Africa's new middle class back into destitution just as quickly as they climbed out of it. The ground beneath their feet is as precarious as a Congolese mine shaft; their prosperity could spill away like crude from a busted pipeline. This catastrophic social disintegration is not merely a continuation of Africa's past as a colonial victim. The looting now is accelerating as never before. As global demand for Africa's resources rises, a handful of Africans are becoming legitimately rich but the vast majority, like the continent as a whole, is being fleeced. Outsiders tend to think of Africa as a great drain of philanthropy. But look more closely at the resource industry and the relationship between Africa and the rest of the world looks rather different. In 2010, fuel and mineral exports from Africa were worth 333 billion, more than seven times the value of the aid that went in the opposite direction. But who received the money? For every Frenchwoman who dies in childbirth, 100 die in Niger alone, the former French colony whose uranium fuels France's nuclear reactors. In petro-states like Angola three-quarters of government revenue comes from oil. The government is not funded by the people, and as result it is not beholden to them. A score of African countries whose economies depend on resources are rentier states; their people are largely serfs. The resource curse is not merely some unfortunate economic phenomenon, the product of an intangible force. What is happening in Africa's resource states is systematic looting. Like its victims, its beneficiaries have names.

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It's Our Turn to Eat - Michela Wrong Cover Art

It's Our Turn to Eat

It's Our Turn to Eat The Story of a Kenyan Whistle-Blower by Michela Wrong

"A fast-paced political thriller.... Wrong's gripping, thoughtful book stands as both a tribute to Githongo's courage and a cautionary tale." —New York Times Book Review “On one level, It’s Our Turn to Eat reads like a John Le Carré novel.... On a deeper and much richer level, the book is an analysis of how and why Kenya descended into political violence.” — Washington Post Called "urgent and important” by Harper's magazine, It’s Our Turn to Eat is a nonfiction political thriller of modern Kenya—an eye-opening account of tribal rivalries, pervasive graft, and the rising anger of a prospect-less youth that exemplifies an African dilemma.

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How Europe Underdeveloped Africa - Walter Rodney & Angela Davis Cover Art

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney & Angela Davis

The classic work of political, economic, and historical analysis, powerfully introduced by Angela Davis In his short life, the Guyanese intellectual Walter Rodney emerged as one of the leading thinkers and activists of the anticolonial revolution, leading movements in North America, South America, the African continent, and the Caribbean. In each locale, Rodney found himself a lightning rod for working class Black Power. His deportation catalyzed 20th century Jamaica's most significant rebellion, the 1968 Rodney riots, and his scholarship trained a generation how to think politics at an international scale. In 1980, shortly after founding of the Working People's Alliance in Guyana, the 38-year-old Rodney would be assassinated. In his magnum opus, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa , Rodney incisively argues that grasping "the great divergence" between the west and the rest can only be explained as the exploitation of the latter by the former. This meticulously researched analysis of the abiding repercussions of European colonialism on the continent of Africa has not only informed decades of scholarship and activism, it remains an indispensable study for grasping global inequality today.

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Too Close to the Sun - Sara Wheeler Cover Art

Too Close to the Sun

Too Close to the Sun The Audacious Life and Times of Denys Finch Hatton by Sara 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.

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Imperial Reckoning - Caroline Elkins Cover Art

Imperial Reckoning

Imperial Reckoning The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya by Caroline 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.

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Country of My Skull - Antjie Krog Cover Art

Country of My Skull

Country of My Skull Guilt, Sorrow, and the Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa by Antjie 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.

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A Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles through Islamic Africa - Steve Kemper Cover Art

A Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles through Islamic Africa

A Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles through Islamic Africa by Steve Kemper

"Kemper’s majestic account of Barth’s journey restores the reputation of an explorer who was as passionate about science as he was about rigorous travel. It’s an enthralling adventure, captivatingly told." —Ziauddin Sardar, Times (London) In 1840 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 trek ranks among the greatest journeys in the annals of exploration, and his discoveries are considered indispensable by modern scholars of Africa. In this historical adventure, the first book about Barth in English, Kemper goes a long way toward rescuing this fascinating figure from obscurity.

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A Savage War of Peace - Alistair Horne Cover Art

A Savage War of Peace

A Savage War of Peace Algeria 1954-1962 by Alistair 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.

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The Defense of Duffer's Drift  - Ernest Dunlop Swinton Cover Art

The Defense of Duffer's Drift

The Defense of Duffer's Drift by Ernest Dunlop Swinton

*Introductory Material *Linked TOC *Linked Glossary The Defense of Duffer’s Drift is one of the most important works ever written on small unit tactics and is required reading for junior officers in military organizations around the world. It was written by Major General Sir Ernest Dunlop Swinton in 1904 when Swinton was a Captain. It details a fictional encounter in the Boer War. The book is narrated by Lieutenant Backsight Forethought (BF) who has been left in command of 50 men to defend a ford in the river. BF has a series of dreams in which his force is defeated by the Boers. After each dream, BF analyzes his performance and determines lessons learned. By the final dream, his force is successful in holding out until relieved. The lessons BF learned are the timeless lessons of small unit tactics and are as valuable today as they were at the turn of the century. The prose are simple and powerful. This book is essential reading for soldiers and students of tactics or military history.

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The Black History Book - DK Cover Art

The Black History Book

The Black History Book Big Ideas Simply Explained by DK

Discover the rich and complex history of the peoples of Africa, and the struggles and triumphs of Black cultures and communities around the world. With profiles of key people, movements, and events, The Black History Book brings together accounts of the most significant ideas and milestones in Black history and culture. This vital and thought-provoking ebook presents a bold and accessible overview of the history of the African continent and its peoples - from the earliest human migrations to modern Black communities and the African diaspora. Powerful images and innovative infographics bring to life the stories of the early kingdoms of Ancient Egypt, Nubia, and Carthage; the powerful empires of the Medieval and Early Modern eras; and the struggle against European colonizers. Black history and culture beyond the African continent is also explored in detail - including the Atlantic Slave Trade; the quilombos (slave resistance camps) of Brazil; the Harlem Renaissance and Jazz Age; the "Windrush" migration; Civil Rights and Black feminist movements; and Black Lives Matter. Using the "Big Ideas" series' trademark combination of authoritative, accessible text and bold graphics, The Black History Book examines the achievements and struggles of Black communities across the world up to the modern day, as well as the influence of Black cultures on art, literature, and music the world over.

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The Fate of Africa - Martin Meredith Cover Art

The Fate of Africa

The Fate of Africa A History of the Continent Since Independence by Martin Meredith

The definitive story of African nations after they emerged from colonialism -- from Mugabe's doomed kleptocracy to Mandela's inspiring defeat of apartheid. The Fate of Africa has been hailed by reviewers as "A masterpiece....The nonfiction book of the year" ( The New York Post ); "a magnificent achievement" ( Weekly Standard ); "a joy," ( Wall Street Journal ) and "one of the decade's most important works on Africa" ( Publishers Weekly , starred review). Spanning the full breadth of the continent, from the bloody revolt in Algiers against the French to Zimbabwe's civil war, Martin Meredith's classic history focuses on the key personalities, events and themes of the independence era, and explains the myriad problems that Africa has faced in the past half-century. It covers recent events like the ongoing conflict in Sudan, the controversy over Western aid, the exploitation of Africa's resources, and the growing importance and influence of China.

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Pirates of Barbary - Adrian Tinniswood Cover Art

Pirates of Barbary

Pirates of Barbary Corsairs, Conquests and Captivity in the Seventeenth-Century Mediterranean by Adrian Tinniswood

The stirring story of the seventeenth-century pirates of the Mediterranean-the forerunners of today's bandits of the seas-and how their conquests shaped the clash between Christianity and Islam. It's easy to think of piracy as a romantic way of life long gone-if not for today's frightening headlines of robbery and kidnapping on the high seas. Pirates have existed since the invention of commerce itself, but they reached the zenith of their power during the 1600s, when the Mediterranean was the crossroads of the world and pirates were the scourge of Europe and the glory of Islam. They attacked ships, enslaved crews, plundered cargoes, enraged governments, and swayed empires, wreaking havoc from Gibraltar to the Holy Land and beyond. Historian and author Adrian Tinniswood brings alive this dynamic chapter in history, where clashes between pirates of the East-Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli-and governments of the West-England, France, Spain, and Venice-grew increasingly intense and dangerous. In vivid detail, Tinniswood recounts the brutal struggles, glorious triumphs, and enduring personalities of the pirates of the Barbary Coast, and how their maneuverings between the Muslim empires and Christian Europe shed light on the religious and moral battles that still rage today. As Tinniswood notes in Pirates of Barbary , "Pirates are history." In this fascinating and entertaining book, he reveals that the history of piracy is also the history that shaped our modern world.

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Blood River - Tim Butcher Cover Art

Blood River

Blood River The Terrifying Journey through the World's Most Dangerous Country by Tim Butcher

A British journalist retraces the legendary 1874 expedition of H. M. Stanley in this “remarkable marriage of travelogue and history” (Max Hastings, author of Armageddon ).   When  Daily Telegraph  correspondent Tim Butcher was sent to Africa in 2000,. he quickly became obsessed with the Congo River and the idea of recreating H. M. Stanley’s nineteenth-century journey along the nearly three-thousand-mile waterway. Despite repeated 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 follows in the footsteps of the great Victorian adventurer. Butcher’s forty-four-day journey along the Congo River is an unforgettable story of exploration, survival, and history come to life.   “Quite superb . . . a masterpiece.” —John le Carré, #1 New York Times –bestselling author   “Do NOT try to repeat Tim Butcher’s audacious and terrifying Congo journey. If you do, you will probably die.” — The Guardian   “[ Blood River ] keeps the heart beating and the attention fixed from beginning to end.”—Fergal Keane, international bestselling author of Wounds   “It is the wit and passion of the writing that keeps you engrossed.”—Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland

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In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz - Michela Wrong Cover Art

In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz

In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz Living on the Brink of Disaster in the by Michela 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.

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The Barbary Corsairs - Jacques Heers Cover Art

The Barbary Corsairs

The Barbary Corsairs Pirates, Plunder, and Warfare in the Mediterranean, 1480-1580 by Jacques Heers

The Barbary corsairs first appeared to terrorize shipping at the end of the fifteenth century. These Muslim pirates sailed out of the ports of North Africa, primarily Sal?, Rabat, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. This area was known in Europe as the Barbary Coast, a term derived from the name of its Berber inhabitants. Acting as officers of the sprawling Ottoman Empire, these pirates plundered the trading routes of the Mediterranean and sowed horror in the hearts of Christians everywhere. The most famous and powerful were the Barbarossa brothers, sons of a renegade Christian. The true founders of the Algiers Regency, they initially preyed on fishing vessels or defenseless merchantmen before growing bolder and embarking upon more brazen expeditions?attacking fortified ports and cities; raiding and kidnapping inhabitants of the African coast; and hunting ships from the Christian nations. This translation of Jacques Heers?s work follows the extraordinary exploits of the brothers, and those of other corsairs and profiteers, set against the turbulent backdrop of trade, commerce, and conflict throughout the Mediterranean as the Middle Ages gave way to the Renaissance. It is an enthralling adventure, robustly written, and it brings to life an age when travel and trade were perilous enterprises.

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White Gold - Giles Milton Cover Art

White Gold

White Gold The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and Islam's One Million White Slaves by Giles Milton

Giles Milton's White Gold tells the true story of white European slaves in eighteenth century Algiers, Tunis, and Morocco. "An elegantly discursive retelling . . . customarily elegant prose." --Simon Winchester, The Boston Globe In the summer of 1716, a Cornish cabin boy named Thomas Pellow and fifty-one of his comrades were captured at sea by Barbary corsairs. Their captors--Ali Hakem and his network of Islamic slave traders--had declared war on the whole of Christendom. Pellow and his shipmates were bought by the tyrannical sultan of Morocco. Drawn from the unpublished letters and manuscripts of Pellow and survivors like him, Giles Milton's White Gold is a fascinating glimpse at a time long forgotten by history.

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A Thousand Hills - Stephen Kinzer Cover Art

A Thousand Hills

A Thousand Hills Rwanda's Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It by Stephen Kinzer

A Thousand Hills: Rwanda's Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It is the story of Paul Kagame, a refugee who, after a generation of exile, found his way home. Learn about President Kagame, who strives to make Rwanda the first middle-income country in Africa, in a single generation. In this adventurous tale, learn about Kagame’s early fascination with Che Guevara and James Bond, his years as an intelligence agent, his training in Cuba and the United States, the way he built his secret rebel army, his bloody rebellion, and his outsized ambitions for Rwanda.

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A Hunter's Wanderings in Africa (Illustrated) - Frederick Courteney Selous Cover Art

A Hunter's Wanderings in Africa (Illustrated)

A Hunter's Wanderings in Africa (Illustrated) A Narrative of Nine Years Spent Amongst the Game of the Far Interior of South Africa by Frederick Courteney Selous

Follow noted adventurer Frederick Courteney Selous as he spends nine years amongst the game of the far interior of South Africa as a professional hunter beginning in 1871 at the young age of 20. In his preface he notes, “...my pages are naturally chiefly devoted to the ferae naturae amongst which I have been constantly living. Some of my conclusions with regard to lions, rhinoceroses, or other animal, may differ from those arrived at by other men equally competent to give an opinion; but, at all events, they are the result of a long personal experience of the beasts themselves, and have not been influenced in any way by the often unreliable stories of ‘old hunters.’” Selous delivers with a very entertaining and informative manuscript that will delight hunters, adventurers, and sportsmen of today.

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The Man-Eaters of Tsavo and Other East African Adventures - John Henry Patterson Cover Art

The Man-Eaters of Tsavo and Other East African Adventures

The Man-Eaters of Tsavo and Other East African Adventures by John 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.