Pastimes and Politics: Culture, Community and Identity in Post-abolition Urban Zanzibar, 1890-1945 (Eastern African Studies)

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9780852557952: Pastimes and Politics: Culture, Community and Identity in Post-abolition Urban Zanzibar, 1890-1945 (Eastern African Studies)

In post-abolition Zanzibar ex-slaves re-created their individual and collective class, gender and ethnic identities as they struggled for social and economic empowerment. North America: Ohio U Press

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Review:

... Fair's excellent historical study of this island civilization during the 20th century. Her principal concern is with how the underclass, i.e., former slaves, particularly women, took advantage of the opportunities available to them to improve their social and economic status during the British colonial era. ...With exquisite detail, each lengthy chapter demonstrates the manner in which this process was both thought and carried out. The overall result is a model of contemporary relevant scholarship. - W. Arens in CHOICE It is engaging, well written, nicely illustrated, and devoid of jargon. Because so little social history has been written about Zanzibar, the book marks a major step forward in our understanding of the texture of urban life in Zanzibar...it is a fine book. - Erik Gilbert in INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORICAL STUDIES ...this book is one of the most innovative studies of social change in colonial Zanzibar for a number of years. It is rich and nuanced in detail, while providing at the same time arguments of a more general nature, especially as regards the limits to the exercise of power, which will resonate throughout the field of African studies. ...The publishers, James Currey (Oxford) and Ohio University Press (Athens, OH) are to be congratulated for making it available to a wider readership. - Jan-Georg Deutsch in AFRICAN AFFAIRS Laura Fair's work, a rewarding study of the underclass in a colonial state, written from a female perspective, describes the process and means by which these different African peoples moved by stages to a new identity as Zanzibaris, an identity based in large part on the traditional Swahili culture of the East African coast...the work is both enjoyable to read and a very valuable contribution to underclass social history in a colonial setting. - Anthony Clayton in ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW Her work adds considerable richness and depth to the well-established historiography of Swahili coastal society in East Africa - Timothy Burke in AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW

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