Encyclopedia of African History 3-Volume Set


SKU: 1579582451

Author: Shillington, Kevin

Brand: Routledge

Edition: 1

Binding: Hardcover

Number Of Pages: 1912

Release Date: 22-11-2004

Details: Product Description Covering the entire continent from Morocco, Libya, and Egypt in the north to the Cape of Good Hope in the south, and the surrounding islands from Cape Verde in the west to Madagascar, Mauritius, and Seychelles in the east, the Encyclopedia of African History is a new A-Z reference resource on the history of the entire African continent. With entries ranging from the earliest evolution of human beings in Africa to the beginning of the twenty-first century, this comprehensive three volume Encyclopedia is the first reference of this scale and scope. Also includes 99 maps. From Booklist *Starred Review* As the editor notes in the introduction, while African societies have long recorded their history as oral tradition, the mature study of African history as an academic discipline developed after World War II and the end of the colonial period. The Cambridge History of Africa (1986) and the UNESCO General History of Africa (1998) have functioned as standard sources to consult for overviews. Encyclopedia of African History is the first multivolume reference set to be devoted to the history of the whole continent. Other fairly recent titles have had either a more limited geographical or chronological scope, such as the excellent Encyclopedia of Africa South of the Sahara (Scribner, 1997) or the more focused Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century African History (Routledge, 2002). The Encyclopedia of African Nations and Civilizations (Facts On File, 2001) is pitched to a lower student or popular level. Over 300 authors, more than one-third of them African, have contributed close to 1,100 articles, most of which have further reading suggestions. The majority of the articles are about 1,000 words in length, with longer surveys of regions and broad topics such as Community in African society or Political systems. About one-third of the matter is devoted to ancient Africa through the eighteenth century, covering topics such as the Iron Age, the Songhay empire, and the Yoruba states. The remainder details the social, economic, and political history of each region and modern state, from the nineteenth century "scramble for Africa" through the colonial period to the postcolonial period to the recent past. There are entries on important modern cities as well as some biographical entries and articles on topics such as clothing and language. The fore matter of the book includes a list of entries A-Z and also a thematic grouping, which is primarily chronological. Using both the entry lists and the detailed index are essential, as the organization and naming of the entries can be a little confusing. For example, a reader going directly to Slave trade will find two entries that begin with those words but that are specific only to the parallels with the ivory and arms trade; most of the entry headings for articles on the slave trade begin with the word slavery. In the index, however, one can find well over 100 references to slave trade in various entries. One of the criticisms of both the UNESCO and Cambridge histories was the absence of information on women and gender issues. This set does address some of the issues in the essay on historiography of women on the continent, although the article is only 2 pages plus an extensive reading list. In the index, there are only 17 other references to about 30 pages total of text under women and 3 more topics listed under gender. It seems there is still work to do--there are close to three times as many references to missionary activity as to women. Newly commissioned maps of countries and regions are crisp and clear. Other illustrations in black and white are rather small and of varying clarity. The level of the individual entries varies--even the educated reader might find some a bit academic in tone and detail. For information that is more general, many nonspecialist readers may find the Encyclopedia of Africa South of the Sahara more approachable if northern Africa is not a focus

Package Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches

Languages: English