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Focusing on conjugal production and reproduction in colonial Asante, this text seeks to understand how broader social and economic factors - cash cropping, trade, monetization of the economy, British rule and Christian missions - recast the terms of domestic struggle and how ordinary men and women negotiated an ever-shifting landscape. By centring their analysis on Asante women, the authors provide building blocks for constructing a broader social history of a society whose past has largely been understood in terms of the state, political evolution, trade, and the careers of political elites. Based primarily upon the recollections of Asante men and women born during the years 1900 to 1925, the volume reconstructs and preserves for future generations the resiliency and tenacity of a generation of Asante women and their struggles to assert and defend economic autonomy.
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JEAN ALLMAN is an Associate Professor in the History Department at the University of Minnesota.VICTORIA TASHJIAN is an Assistant Professor in the History in the Department at St. Norbert College.Review:
... a richly documented, seamlessly executed work that testifies to an exceptional level of scholarly collaboration, as well as to the knowledge and interpretive skills of both authors. Allman and Tashjian have deepened and enriched our understanding of women, men and social relations in colonial Asante, and set a very high standard for future research in African social history. - Sara Berry in AFRICAN AFFAIRS ... a probing and stimulating presentation of women's agency in the transition years of early colonialism, supported by exceptional written and oral testimony with a depth of detail that many histories, not just African history, are incapable of. The authors have accomplished a gendering of this history in ways previously unimaginable to most African and non-African historians alike. - Donna J. Maier in AFRICAN STUDIES REVIEW This book is a valuable contribution to the history of women in Africa with particular reference to the Asante of Ghana. It has unearthed in great detail the experiences of Asante women in the areas of marriage, mothering and child rearing during the colonial period, set against the background of the economy with its emphasis on cash cropping and monetization, and the social setting with its provision of infrastructure, education and missions. - Akosua Perbi in JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORY ... a fascinating study of Africa's legal, political and economic modernity... . It also brings to the fore the vexed subject of continued significance of customary authority, especially local chiefs, within a political framework that has no constitutionally relevant place for them. - Patrick Chabal in INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
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