Book Reviews

Book Review: Cotton by Adam Sneyd

In Cotton, Adam Sneyd brings the reality of international trade into focus through tracing the local and global politics behind the circulation of one of the most everyday of materials: cotton. This is a vividly told, interrogative read that establishes its author as a leading expert on the politics of commodities and development, finds Dr Milasoa Chérel-Robson.
The cover of Cotton by Adam Sneyd is […]

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    Book Review – Clothing Poverty: the Hidden World of Fast Fashion and Second-hand Clothes by Andrew Brooks

Book Review – Clothing Poverty: the Hidden World of Fast Fashion and Second-hand Clothes by Andrew Brooks

Clothing Poverty should be of immense intellectual stimulation to anyone searching for inspiring examples of writing about a capitalist system as a whole rather than isolated capitalist actors, says Dagna Rams.

 

Many of us, clothes consumers in the West, are aware of the poor working conditions in Asian sweatshops existing side-by-side with multinational companies’ growing revenues. In this context, donating […]

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    Book Review: Cotton and Race Across the Atlantic: Britain, Africa, and America, 1900-1920 by Jonathan E Robins

Book Review: Cotton and Race Across the Atlantic: Britain, Africa, and America, 1900-1920 by Jonathan E Robins

According to Jonathan Silver, Cotton and Race Across the Atlantic: Britain, Africa and America 1900-1920 makes a significant contribution to the global history of cotton and our understandings about the long durée of capitalism.

 

Cotton and Race across the Atlantic is a carefully-researched analysis of an important era in the longer histories of the North Atlantic, one that takes into […]

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    Book Review: Perspectives on Uganda – Reflections of an ODI Fellow by Prajakta Kharkar Nigam

Book Review: Perspectives on Uganda – Reflections of an ODI Fellow by Prajakta Kharkar Nigam

Linet Juma says that Perspectives on Uganda – Reflections of an ODI Fellow stands out for giving practical examples of how to tailor policy around different contexts and not contexts around policy

 

Perspectives on Uganda – Reflections of an ODI Fellow sets out to provide an alternative narrative about the social and business landscape in Uganda and suggests homegrown solutions […]

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    Book Review – Volunteer Economies: The Politics and Ethics of Voluntary Labour in Africa, edited by Ruth Prince and Hannah Brown

Book Review – Volunteer Economies: The Politics and Ethics of Voluntary Labour in Africa, edited by Ruth Prince and Hannah Brown

LSE’s Jordan Vieira describes the book as a valuable contribution to the study of Africa that showcases the many benefits of situating ethnographic work within its historical, socio-political, and economic contexts.

 

‘Volunteering’ has been an increasingly prevalent mode of activity around the world for a myriad of reasons, and Africa’s changing social configurations make for a rich field in which […]

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    Book review- Nation on Board: Becoming Nigerian at Sea by Lynn Schler

Book review- Nation on Board: Becoming Nigerian at Sea by Lynn Schler

Jochen Lingelbach recommends this book as an accessible labour history and a convincing bottom-up perspective on decolonisation.

Seamen seem to be the romantic, rebellious and cosmopolitan characters par excellence. The unruly world of pirates and sailors in the Revolutionary Atlantic appears to be a breeding ground for political change. Some of this echoes in Lynn Schler’s history of Nigerian seamen, […]

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    Book review – The Rise of Africa’s Middle Class: Myths, Realities and Critical Engagements, by Henning Melber(ed.)

Book review – The Rise of Africa’s Middle Class: Myths, Realities and Critical Engagements, by Henning Melber(ed.)

The Rise of Africa’s Middle Class: Myths, Realities and Critical Engagements seeks to wrestle back the African middle class debate from the Afro-optimists with mixed success, according to LSE’s Rebecca Simson.

 

Over the last few years a flurry of reports and articles by international organisations, private firms and the media have celebrated the growth of Africa’s middle class. Many predict […]

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    Book Review – We, the People: Insights of an Activist Judge by Albie Sachs

Book Review – We, the People: Insights of an Activist Judge by Albie Sachs

Those looking for an antidote to the current political tumult might find solace in the personal reflections of Albie Sachs, a lawyer and activist who helped to shape, and later interpret, South Africa’s constitution, says Nick Branson.

In a context of persistent inequality, mass unemployment, and allegations of corruption at the highest levels of government, South Africa’s post-apartheid settlement […]

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    Book Review – Pioneers of the Field: South Africa’s Women Anthropologists by Andrew Bank

Book Review – Pioneers of the Field: South Africa’s Women Anthropologists by Andrew Bank

Anne Heffernan says this book represents an important contribution to the history of social anthropology by reclaiming the place of its foremothers.

Andrew Bank opens his new monograph, Pioneers of the Field: South Africa’s Women Anthropologists, in the anthropology corridor of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). Bank describes this hallway as lined with a ‘fictitious lineage’ of portraits of […]

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    Book Review: Malawi’s Lost Years (1964-1994): And Her Forsaken Heroes by Kapote Mwakasungura and Douglas Miller

Book Review: Malawi’s Lost Years (1964-1994): And Her Forsaken Heroes by Kapote Mwakasungura and Douglas Miller

Calum Fisher analyses the strengths and weaknesses of Malawi’s Lost Years (1964-1994) by highlighting the authors’ personal experiences, and their uncompromising view of the country’s still-divisive founding President.

“Malawi,” so the old joke went, “is a one-man-Banda.” Known abroad, if at all, as apartheid South Africa’s sole black African ally and for his eccentric public policies (beards were […]

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