The African Revolution: A History of the Long Nineteenth Century (Hardcover)

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A panoramic global history of Africa in the age of imperialism

Africa's long nineteenth century was a time of revolutionary ferment and cultural innovation for the continent's states, societies, and economies. Yet the period preceding what became known as "the Scramble for Africa" by European powers in the decades leading up to World War I has long been neglected in favor of a Western narrative of colonial rule. The African Revolution demonstrates that the "Scramble" and the resulting imperial order were as much the culmination of African revolutionary dynamics as they were of European expansionism.

In this monumental work of history, Richard Reid paints a multifaceted portrait of a continent on the global stage. He describes how Africa witnessed the emergence of new economic and political dynamics that were underpinned by forms of violence and volatility not unlike those emanating from Europe. Reid uses a stretch of road in what is now Tanzania--one of the nineteenth century's most vibrant commercial highways--as an entry point into this revolutionary epoch, weaving a broader story around characters and events on the road. He integrates the African experience with new insights into the deeper currents in European societies before and after conquest, and he shows how the Africans themselves created opportunities for European expansion.

Challenging the portrayal of Africa's transformative nineteenth century as a mere prelude to European colonialism, The African Revolution reveals how this turbulent yet hugely creative era for Africans intersected with global intrusions to shape the modern age.

About the Author

Richard Reid is professor of African history at the University of Oxford and a fellow of St Cross College. His many books include Shallow Graves: A Memoir of the Ethiopia-Eritrea War; A History of Modern Uganda; and Warfare in African History.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780691187099
ISBN-10: 0691187096
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication Date: January 28th, 2025
Pages: 432
Language: English