Revised to include the events of the 1990s, this volume covers the entire span of human history across the African continent, from the earliest emergence of hominids in Eastern and Southern Africa up to the present day. The book is arranged thematically, beginning with the human colonization of the different regions of Africa, the origins of food production, and the formation of African languages. The achievements of Ancient Egypt are placed in context with the developments in the rest of the continent, and the spread of the monotheistic religions of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. The tradition of urban settlement is traced, especially in Western Africa and the extent and nature of slavery is fully discussed, together with the external slave trade and the caravan trade in pre-colonial times. This leads to an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of African political systems, including why these systems were unable to withstand political pressure from abroad and the ensuing colonization. Later chapters describe the birth of modern African nation-states.
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Roland Oliver was born in Kashmir in 1923. In 1948 he took up the post of Lecturer in the Tribal History of East Africa at SOAS, University of London, and was subsequently appointed the first ever Professor of African History in the University of London. From his base at SOAS, Professor Oliver pioneered the new discipline of African History. He was the founder-editor in 1960 of theJournal of African History and general editor of the eight-volume Cambridge History of Africa. His book (with John Fage), A Short History of Africa has be
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