Book Reviews

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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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    Book Review: Humour, Silence and Civil Society in Nigeria by Ebenezer Obadare

Book Review: Humour, Silence and Civil Society in Nigeria by Ebenezer Obadare

Humour, Silence and Civil Society in Nigeria is a rich and highly readable meditation on overlooked aspects of public life in Nigeria, says LSE’s Portia Roelofs.
 

In Humour, Silence and Civil Society in Nigeria Ebenezer Obadare, Professor of Sociology at the University of Kansas, argues that “real civil society has to be sought … outside the professionalised third sector, and often […]

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    Book review – Burundi: The Biography of a Small African Country by Nigel Watt

Book review – Burundi: The Biography of a Small African Country by Nigel Watt

LSE’s Richard Stupart recommends this book to anyone wanting an introduction to the major themes in Burundian politics and history, or an overview of the kinds of organisations involved in conflict resolution, democracy building and development.

To say that Burundi is ignored in the fields of development, political science, and other endeavours focused on Africa is to state the obvious. […]

Book Review – Nyerere: The Early Years by Thomas Molony

LSE’s Richard Stupart says this book offers a detailed, entertaining account of the life and ideas of one of Africa’s greatest statesmen.

Bringing together a range of previously-unconsidered sources on the early life and education of independent Tanzania’s first leader, Nyerere: The Early Years adds complexity to a story often told more as a hagiography. A senior lecturer in African […]

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    Book review: Participatory planning for climate compatible development in Maputo, Mozambique

Book review: Participatory planning for climate compatible development in Maputo, Mozambique

This book is accessible in the best sense of the term and yet offers complex ideas and challenges to traditional planning norms that have shaped a geography of vulnerability across Maputo, says Jonathan Silver.

The climate crisis is not an uncertain future or purely scientific debate but a frighteningly real present that particularly threatens coastal, low-lying cities that an estimated […]

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    Book review: Making the Mark; Gender, Identity, and Genital Cutting by Miroslava Prazak

Book review: Making the Mark; Gender, Identity, and Genital Cutting by Miroslava Prazak

Annemarie Middelburg describes the book as an absolute must-read that gives voice not only to Kuria people who have undergone male or female circumcision in Kenya, but to everyone connected to the practice.

Miroslava Prazak is a scholar of development and cultural change at Bennington College. She has spent more than twenty years with the Kuria people in the rolling […]

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    Book Review- Ivory: Power and Poaching in Africa by Keith Somerville

Book Review- Ivory: Power and Poaching in Africa by Keith Somerville

LSE’s Joanna Lewis describes this book as the best academic account to date of the history of the supply side of ivory trade.

Anyone who believes that China’s recent pledge to ban the ivory trade by the end of 2017 will make a difference to the threat hanging over African elephants will have a rude awakening after reading Keith Somerville’s […]

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    Book Review – Nigeria: A New History of a Turbulent Century by Richard Bourne

Book Review – Nigeria: A New History of a Turbulent Century by Richard Bourne

Richard Bourne has provided an excellent overview of the main political events of Nigeria’s first hundred years, but no deeper analysis of the reasons for which Nigeria has stayed together, according to LSE’s Bronwen Manby.

Nigeria has long lacked an accessible and comprehensive one-volume history for the general reader. Richard Bourne, a British author and former journalist with a long […]

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    Book Review – Understanding Zimbabwe: From Liberation to Authoritarianism by Sara Rich Dorman

Book Review – Understanding Zimbabwe: From Liberation to Authoritarianism by Sara Rich Dorman

Sara Rich Dorman has produced a remarkably original, expansive and analytical text. Understanding Zimbabwe: From Liberation to Authoritarianism is also an extremely timely contribution given the recent resurgence of civic activism in the country. In highlighting contestation between society and the state, this book will surely launch new debates both in Zimbabwe and among its scholars, says Nick Branson.

There […]

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