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A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the Present, 3rd Edition

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A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the Present, 3rd Edition

Richard J. Reid

ISBN: 978-1-119-38192-1 January 2020 Wiley-Blackwell 448 Pages

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The new, fully-updated edition of the acclaimed textbook covering 200 years of African history

A History of Modern Africa explores two centuries of the continent’s political, economic, and social history. This thorough yet accessible text help readers to understand key concepts, recognize significant themes, and identify the processes that shaped the modern history of Africa. Emphasis is placed on the consequences of colonial rule, and the links between the precolonial and postcolonial eras. Author Richard Reid, a prominent scholar and historian on the subject, argues that Africa’s struggle for economic and political stability in the nineteenth century escalated and intensified through the twentieth century, the effects of which are still felt in the present day. 

The new third edition offers substantial updates and revisions that consider recent events and historiography. Greater emphasis is placed on African agency, particularly during the colonial period, and the importance of the long-term militarization of African political culture. Discussions of the postcolonial period have been updated to reflect recent developments, including those in North Africa. Adopting a long-term approach to current African issues, this text: 

  • Explores the legacies of the nineteenth century and the colonial period in the context of the contemporary era
  • Highlights the role of nineteenth century and long-term internal dynamics in Africa’s modern challenges
  • Combines recent scholarship with concise and effective narrative
  • Features maps, illustrations, expanded references, and comprehensive endnotes

A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the Present, 3rd Edition is an excellent introduction to the subject for undergraduate students in relevant courses, and for general readers with interest in modern African history and current affairs.

List of Maps xiv

List of Plates xv

Acknowledgements for the Third Edition

Acknowledgments for the Second Edition xvii

Acknowledgments xviii

1 Introduction: Understanding the Contours of Africa’s Past 1

A Brief History of the Study of Africa 5

Land 8

People 12

Part I Polity, Society, and Economy: Ingenuity and Violence in the Nineteenth Century 17

2 Western Transitions: Slave Trade and “Legitimate” Commerce in Atlantic Africa 23

States and Societies during the Atlantic Slave Trade 24

“Illegal” Traffic: The Nineteenth-Century Slave Trade 28

Mineral and Vegetable: “Legitimate” Commerce 32

Change and Continuity in Forest and Savannah 35

3 Eastern Intrusions: Slaves and Ivory in Eastern Africa 42

Commercial Horizons: Slaves and Ivory 43

Maritime Empire: Zanzibar 48

Statehood, Conflict, and Trade (1): The Lacustrine Zone 52

Statehood, Conflict, and Trade (2): Northeastern Africa 59

4 Southern Frontiers: Colony and Revolution in Southern Africa 65

African State and Society to around 1800 65

War, Revolution, and the Zulu Impact 67

Cape Colonialism: White Settlement and the “Native Question” 71

Voortrekkers: White Communities in the Interior 74

Balances of Power to around 1870 75

Part II Africa and Islam: Revival and Reform in the Nineteenth Century 77

5 Revival and Reaction: North African Islam 81

Old and New Identities: Brotherhoods of the Desert 81

Trade and Conflict in the Mediterranean World: Ottoman and European Frontiers 82

Changing Society (1): The Maghreb 86

Changing Society (2): Egypt 89

6 Jihad: Revolutions in Western Africa 94

Islam in Western Africa to the Eighteenth Century 94

The Wandering Fulani 96

Prophets and Warriors 97

7 The Eastern Crescent: The Islamic Frontier in Eastern Africa 103

Swahili Islam: Coastal Frontiers in the Nineteenth Century 103

Islam in the Central East African Interior 105

Cross and Crescent in Northeast Africa 106

Islam on the Nile 108

Part III Africa and Europe: Commerce, Conflict and Co-option, to c.1920 113

8 The Compass and the Cross 119

Interested Gentlemen and Learned Bodies: Explorers and Exploration 119

Creeping Hegemony and the Invention of Africa 123

European Missionary Activity in Africa to around 1800 125

Evangelical Humanitarians: Missionary Revival 126

The Christian Impact on Culture, State, and Society 129

Mission and Empire 134

9 “Whatever Happens ”: Towards the Scramble 139

Africa and Theories of Imperialism 140

Race and Culture 142

Disorder and Civilizing Violence: Political and Economic Justifications 145

10 Africans Adapting: Conquest and Partition 150

Explaining the “Conquest” 150

Spears and Water: Violent Resistance 155

Histories Old and New: Colonialism and Historical “Knowledge” 165

Realities Old and New: Colonialism and Political “Knowledge” 168

Bush Wars and Distant Shadows: Africa in Global War 175

Part IV Colonialisms 183

11 “Pax Colonia”? Empires of Soil and Service 189

Monopolies on Violence 190

Slaves and Labor 193

Cash Crops 194

White Settlement 199

Industry 201

Social Change and Emergent Crisis 204

Hearts and Minds 207

Environment and Medicine 210

12 Hard Times: Protest, Identity, and Depression 218

Making Tribes 218

Emergent Protest in the Islamic World 221

Salvation and Resistance: The African Church 223

Class and Tribe: The Industrial Complex 224

Cash Crops, Rural Crises, and Peasant Protest 227

Other Voices 230

13 Battles Home and Away: Africa in Global War (Again) 236

The War in the Continent 236

Shifts in Politics and Society 241

Part V The Dissolution of Empire 245

14 The Beached Whale: Colonial Strategies in the Postwar World 251

Postwar Africa and the International Climate 252

Economic Policies and Visions, c. 1945–50 253

Political Plans, c. 1945–50 256

15 Conceiving and Producing Nations 259

The Widening Horizons of Belonging 260

Tensions and Transitions: From Political Consciousness to Political Parties 261

Irresistible Force and Immovable Object: Nationalists and Settlers 268

A Time of Contrasts 273

16 Compromising Conflict: Routes to Independence 276

Debate and Debacle: “Constitutional” Transfers of Power 276

Violence: Growth, Form, and Impact 286

From Suez to Sharpeville, and Beyond: The End of High Imperialism 291

Part VI Legacies, New Beginnings, and Unfinished Business 297

17 Unsafe Foundations: Challenges of Independence 303

Building the Nation (1): Economy and Society 303

Building the Nation (2): Polity 310

Political Stability and Islam 316

Crowded House: Africa and the Cold War 320

18 Violence and the Militarization of Political Culture 328

The Military in African Politics 328

The Politics and Cultures of Insurgency 332

New Wars, Old Problems, and Expanding Military Horizons 337

19 Rectification, Redemption, and Reality: Issues and Trends in Contemporary Africa 339

Africa and the Contemporary World 339

Democracy and Authoritarianism: Trends in Governance 343

Body and Mind 352

Contemporary Economics: Assessing “development” and “growth” 355

Further Reading 363

Index 365