Africa is witnessing dramatic urban growth on a massive scale which, in the space of this century, has reversed the rural - urban settlement patterns of the continent. Yet urbanization has been an important feature of Africa's history for over two thousand years. Towns and cities have been important arenas around which societies have organized themselves: as centres of trade, economic activity and wealth accumulation; as foci of political action and authority; as military garrisons and symbols of physical domination; as sites of ritual power and contact with the sacred; and as places of refuge, shelter and collective security in troubled times.
This survey reveals a remarkable depth of urbanization in African history. Each chapter places the city at the centre of discussion. Themes developed are unexpectedly diverse, suggesting not only a distinctive history of urbanism but offering great potential for further research. This volume is thus presented as a starting point for the writing of deeper comparative histories of Africa's urban past.
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DAVID M. ANDERSON is Senior Lecturer in African History at SOAS, University of London.RICHARD RATHBONE is Professor of Modern African History at SOAS, University of LondonReview:
I have seldom read a book which introduced me to so many new things - to so many fresh topics and to so much new research by scholars, many of them young, as well as by established figures such as John Thornton and Robin Law... I found this book almost a course in African Studies in itself. --African Affairs
The editors provide an excellent introduction which outlines the entire history of African urbanism in eight tightly-written pages, explains the rationale of the book in the context of the state of the art, and places the seventeen studies included here into their broader academic context. --English Historical Review
... will definitely be on my undergraduate African History reading list. --David Dorward in ARAS
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Book Description Heinemann, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0325002207
Book Description Heinemann, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110325002207