Normal view MARC view ISBD view

The search for Africa : history, culture, politics / Basil Davidson.

By: Davidson, Basil, 1914-2010.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Times Books, ©1994Edition: 1st ed.Description: x, 373 pages ; 25 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 0812922786; 9780812922783; 0812925270; 9780812925272.Subject(s): Africa, Sub-Saharan -- Politics and government -- 1960- | South Africa -- Politics and government -- 20th century | Politics and government | Africa, Sub-Saharan | South Africa | Cultuur | Politieke situatie | Kultur | Kolonialismus | Afrika | Afrika | Kultur | Kolonialismus | Since 1900 | Africa, Sub-Saharan Politics and government 1960- | South Africa Politics and government 20th centuryGenre/Form: Nonfiction.DDC classification: 967 Other classification: 15.80
Contents:
Thinking About Africa -- Claims. The Search for Africa's Past. Africa and the Invention of Racism. Rescuing Africa's History. Africanism and Its Meanings -- Antipathies. Race and Resistance. The Roots of Antiapartheid. South Africa: A System of Legalized Servitude. African Saga. Pluralism in Colonial African Societies -- Sympathies. African Peasants and Revolution. Voices from the Front. The Legacy of Amilcar Cabral -- Debates. Nationalism and Its Ambiguities. Nationalism and Africa's Self-Transformation. The Politics of Restitution. Southern Africa: Progress Or Disaster? -- Arguments. The Ancient World and Africa: Whose Roots? The Curse of Columbus.
Summary: A collection of short essays various aspects of African history, culture and modern politics.Summary: For more than forty years, Basil Davidson has been writing on Africa, helping to lift the curtain of ignorance that has too long cloaked that astonishing continent with its many vibrant peoples. In more than twenty books, from The Lost Cities of Africa to The African Genius to The Black Man's Burden, he has contributed to one of the truly liberating achievements of the twentieth century : the reinstallation of Africa's peoples within the culture of the world. Moreover, Davidson has done so with a spirit of infectious adventure and vitality and commitment. That spirit, fleshed out with deep research and attired in elegant style, has drawn countless readers to subjects otherwise approachable only by experts. Taken together, his many writings have made the excitement of intellectual discovery palpable for us all. In the course of his fruitful career Davidson has written many shorter pieces as well, and the best of these are collected for the first time in The Search for Africa. These penetrating essays, essential to understanding the passionate spirit of this founder of modern African studies, provide the background and perspective needed to understand a continent whose upheavals continue to shake the world. In them, Basil Davidson joins the heated debate over Africanism, Eurocentricism, and the historical role of Africa. He does so with unmatched erudition and solidarity. Readers new to his work will appreciate Davidson's clarity of style, a result of his disciplined and candid thinking. Because he has a passion and respect for African culture and the African peoples, Davidson debunks Western myths about Africa, and anyone ignorant of its realities will learn much from his engaged presentation. His very tone is that of a man who is primarily concerned with truth. The Search for Africa begins with an essay on the roots and contributions of Africa's ancient kingdoms and proceeds to a meditation on the invention of racism and the meanings of Africanism. Next is a dissection of the South African system of legalized servitude, its origins and consequences. This is followed by an examination of the struggles of Africans to free themselves from the imperial powers, in the course of which Davidson grapples with the ambiguities of nationalism. The book ends with a reflection on what the author calls the "curse of Columbus." In a wider sense, The Search for Africa forms a bridge between the three parallel enterprises of history, culture, and politics. It reveals how culture justifies itself by history, how history influences culture, and how politics threads its way through both. It is an indispensable capstone to a remarkable career. - Jacket flap.
Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.
Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
DT30.5 .D384 1994 (Browse shelf) Available 0000002330181

Includes bibliographical references (pages 343-359) and index.

A collection of short essays various aspects of African history, culture and modern politics.

Thinking About Africa -- Claims. The Search for Africa's Past. Africa and the Invention of Racism. Rescuing Africa's History. Africanism and Its Meanings -- Antipathies. Race and Resistance. The Roots of Antiapartheid. South Africa: A System of Legalized Servitude. African Saga. Pluralism in Colonial African Societies -- Sympathies. African Peasants and Revolution. Voices from the Front. The Legacy of Amilcar Cabral -- Debates. Nationalism and Its Ambiguities. Nationalism and Africa's Self-Transformation. The Politics of Restitution. Southern Africa: Progress Or Disaster? -- Arguments. The Ancient World and Africa: Whose Roots? The Curse of Columbus.

For more than forty years, Basil Davidson has been writing on Africa, helping to lift the curtain of ignorance that has too long cloaked that astonishing continent with its many vibrant peoples. In more than twenty books, from The Lost Cities of Africa to The African Genius to The Black Man's Burden, he has contributed to one of the truly liberating achievements of the twentieth century : the reinstallation of Africa's peoples within the culture of the world. Moreover, Davidson has done so with a spirit of infectious adventure and vitality and commitment. That spirit, fleshed out with deep research and attired in elegant style, has drawn countless readers to subjects otherwise approachable only by experts. Taken together, his many writings have made the excitement of intellectual discovery palpable for us all. In the course of his fruitful career Davidson has written many shorter pieces as well, and the best of these are collected for the first time in The Search for Africa. These penetrating essays, essential to understanding the passionate spirit of this founder of modern African studies, provide the background and perspective needed to understand a continent whose upheavals continue to shake the world. In them, Basil Davidson joins the heated debate over Africanism, Eurocentricism, and the historical role of Africa. He does so with unmatched erudition and solidarity. Readers new to his work will appreciate Davidson's clarity of style, a result of his disciplined and candid thinking. Because he has a passion and respect for African culture and the African peoples, Davidson debunks Western myths about Africa, and anyone ignorant of its realities will learn much from his engaged presentation. His very tone is that of a man who is primarily concerned with truth. The Search for Africa begins with an essay on the roots and contributions of Africa's ancient kingdoms and proceeds to a meditation on the invention of racism and the meanings of Africanism. Next is a dissection of the South African system of legalized servitude, its origins and consequences. This is followed by an examination of the struggles of Africans to free themselves from the imperial powers, in the course of which Davidson grapples with the ambiguities of nationalism. The book ends with a reflection on what the author calls the "curse of Columbus." In a wider sense, The Search for Africa forms a bridge between the three parallel enterprises of history, culture, and politics. It reveals how culture justifies itself by history, how history influences culture, and how politics threads its way through both. It is an indispensable capstone to a remarkable career. - Jacket flap.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

For 40 years, Davidson's writings ( Black Man's Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation State , LJ 4/15/92; Africa in History , LJ 9/15/91) have been the windows through which many Africanists have viewed and interpreted historical and contemporary processes in Africa. Davidson celebrates his 80th year with this compilation of his own essays, written between the 1950s and the early 1990s. The essays deal with the corruption of racist colonialism, the liberation movements across the continent, the struggle against apartheid, and the failures of contemporary African political states. As these essays make clear throughout, Davidson has remained hopeful for Africa. The introductions to the book's several sections set the context of Davidson's own career and of the essays he presents. Recommended for academic and larger public libraries.-- Bill Rau, Takoma Park, Md. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Basil Risbridger Davidson began his journalistic career as a member of the editorial staff of The Economist in 1938. That assignment was interrupted by World War II, during which Davidson served in the British army with distinction, receiving the Military Cross, the U.S. Bronze Star, and the Jugoslav Zasluge za Narod for his service in the Balkans, North Africa, and Italy. After being demobilized from the service, Davidson returned to journalism, first as the diplomatic correspondent of The Star and then as the Paris correspondent of The Times. He went on to become chief foreign lead writer and then special correspondent for the New Statesman, special correspondent for the Daily Herald, and lead writer for the Daily Mirror. As a journalist he published numerous works of fiction including Highway Forty (1949), Golden Horn (1952), The Rapids (1955), Lindy (1958), and The Andrassy Affair (1966) His nonfiction work includes Partisan Picture (1946), Germany from Potsdam to Partition (1948), and Daybreak in China (1953). Most of these were the outcome of his wartime experiences and subsequent career in journalism. <p> During these years Davidson took an increasing interest in the African past. This interest brought him to the University of Ghana as a visiting professor in 1964 and as professor in 1965. Since that time he has devoted himself to the discovery of that history. He published his first work on Africa, Report on Southern Africa, in 1952. A host of other publications followed. His work has been characterized not only by his sympathy for Africa and for the Africans but also by the explication of the African past with a combination of the thoroughness of an investigative reporter and a style that has made his books popular with a large international audience. Although some of Davidson's earlier conclusions have been revised by later scholarly research, this in no way has diminished his influence on giving legitimacy to the history of Africa. His readable elucidation of African history has brought him many honors and awards over the years. His most effective exposition of the African past, however, may have been as author and narrator of a popular eight-part television documentary of Africa's history that aired in 1984. His most reflective thoughts on his research and writing on the African past may be found in his latest book, The Black Man's Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation State (1992). <p> (Bowker Author Biography)

There are no comments for this item.

Log in to your account to post a comment.