Short Notices

Article excerpt

SHORT NOTICES

Unless otherwise indicated, the comments are those of the editorial staff. Listing here does not preclude the possibility of a fuller review at a later date.

The African Diaspora in the Mediterranean Lands of Islam. Edited by John Hunwick and Eve Troutt Powell. Princeton: Markus Wiener, 2002. Pp. xxxvii, 246. $22.95 paper. This interesting book examines the relatively neglected topic of the "forced migration" of Africans to the Islamic Mediterranean world-a process that began as early as the midseventh century. Through a collection of original texts by Islamic writers as well as external, non-Islamic sources, the authors reveal the Islamic cultural context within which this process took place and the impact it had on its African victims.

Alcohol in Africa: Mixing Business, Pleasure, and Politics. Edited by Deborah Fahy Bryceson. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann, 2002. Pp. viii, 305. $69.95. This book examines alcohol consumption patterns across Africa using a cross-disciplinary perspective. Chapters 1 and 2 discuss alcohol's utilitarian value in Africa and changing patterns of alcohol use from precolonial to contemporary times. The remaining twelve chapters present case studies (from Guinea-Bissau, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, and Namibia) dealing with alcohol use in business, political, and social contexts.

The Boer War. By Denis Judd and Keith Surridge. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. Pp. xvi, 352. $29.95. The authors have written a popular introduction to the Boer War, which includes a discussion of its historical and political contexts, its causes, and its aftermath. Four maps and 32 vintage photographs illustrate the text.

The Challenges of History and Leadership in Africa: The Essays of Bethwell Allan Ogot. Edited by Toyin Falola and Atieno Odhiambo. Trenton, N.J.: Africa World Press, 2002. Pp. Ixvi, 684. $99.95 cloth, $39.95 paper. Getting to know Jan Vansina as a graduate student decades ago, I decided he was a true "Renaissance man" in the sense that he could talk intelligently and engagingly about art, mathematics, medieval history, or any body of literature in addition to African studies. I have much of the same feeling about Allan Ogot, and those who read through the 46 essays written between 1961 and 1980 reprinted here will understand why. Pioneering essays on the methodology of oral history, classic articles on the British colonial rule, the Revolt of the Elders, and the importance of Mau Mau songs, reflections on Museveni as a narcissist and Senghor as the poet/statesman-there is good reading to be found here. As Ali Mazrui notes in his commentary, "Some people make history, some write history, and some create historians. Allan Ogot did all three" (p. Iv). Significantly for historians, a footnote on the first page of each essay specifies where and when it was first presented or published, which is not always the case in this series. -Jean Hay, Boston University

The Decolonization Reader. Edited by James D. Le Sueur. New York: Routledge, 2003. Pp. x, 462. $27.95 paper. This collection of twenty-two essays provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the history of European decolonization in Africa and Asia and examines the impact of decolonization on world history. Topics covered in the book include economics, metropolitan and international politics, gender, sexuality, race, culture, nationalism, and the postcolonial condition.

Documents from the African Past. Edited by Robert O. Collins. Princeton: Markus Wiener, 2001. Pp. xi, 369. $26.95 paper. The seventyone documents presented in this volume cover approximately two thousand years of African history, starting with an excerpt from the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (ca. AD 70) and ending with Nelson Mandela's address to the ANC in 1985. Topics described in these sources include ancient and medieval trade routes, China's "discovery" of Africa, the slave trade, kingdoms of East and West Africa, and experiences of European and Asian merchants and colonists in Africa. …