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Ago 12, 2006, 7:00pm

Just wanted to welcome all who wish to join. I look forward to many discussions, or at least good discussions, on some of my favorite books, and to learn which books I might need to add to my reading list.

Ago 22, 2006, 8:01am

I`ll start the ball rolling - am currently reading In Search of Africa by Basil Davidson.

Anyone else read that ?

I`ve not got too far with it yet - a little but of academic jargon creeps in here and there - `historiography` indeed !

Still, I admire him very much.

Ago 22, 2006, 8:02am


I`m reading In Search of Africa by Basil Davidson at present - anyone else like him ?

Editado: Set 4, 2006, 5:08pm

I have not reaad that yet. I read The Black man's Burden by him which I didn't find all that interesting. I thought some of what he said was right, in regards to the mess colonialism left in Africa, but I have seen it said better in other titles. What arguments that he made in that book did you agree with or like? Are his other titles better?

5TimothyBurke Primeira Mensagem
Set 4, 2006, 9:11pm

The word "historiography" seems like jargon? It's the history of history-writing, that's all. When you read a history, the person writing it ought to know something about what's been said before about that history, and if it's relevant, tell you about it.

Anyway, on Davidson. He was a journalist who became deeply interested in Africa after the end of World War II and turned to the writing of African history. To some extent, I read The Black Man's Burden as a convoluted apologia for some of his earlier writing, which was overly enthusiastic, occasionally fawning, about the new national governments of postcolonial Africa and eager to provision them with a "useful history" that celebrated the past glories of Africa. That being said, his earlier writing is clear and powerful and helped to communicate to a very wide audience that African societies had a history that was deep and complex.

The Black Man's Burden as a book works best in the first half or so; his comparison to Eastern Europe becomes very tortured, I think, though I understand why he tried to make it.

Set 5, 2006, 8:50am

liberryn 2

I`m not ignoring your query, it`s just that a) I`ve only just found it and b) Timothy has answered it better than I could anyway.

There is a Basil Davidson tribute issue of Race and Class, the journal of the UK`s Institute of Race Relations - it might give you some ideas where to start if you want to take the interest further. It`s out of print now, so you`d probably have to track down a second-hand copy.

You mentioned you`d seen the same things said better - any recommendations ?

I notice that there still seem to be a lot of books about Africa by people born outside Africa (whether black or white), but the only non-fiction books about Africa by Africans that I come across are books on Anti-Apartheid-Mandela, Biko, Sobukwe etc or books on anti-colonialism or the newly independent Africa of the `60s by, say, Nyerere or Nkrumah.

Are there more modern titles I`m missing out on ?

Set 12, 2006, 4:07pm

There are some titles that fit the bill, ranging from fairly academic or scholarly works to more accessible and general titles. Try Africa Betrayed, The Open Sore of the Continent, or A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt for starters.

The one thing I'm hard-pressed to think of is African travel writing by African authors. Arguably Scribbling the Cat fits the bill.

Set 26, 2006, 1:07am

Thank you for the explication on Davidson. It has helped my understanding of what I was reading.

Ago 25, 2007, 11:27pm

I've just finished a book by Ayi Kwei Armah "The eloquence of the Scribes." I enjoyed the book very much its about his search for his role and found it in writing. The book is also about his search for African Literature, African culture & its history (true). He talks about how to write and really has a course thats taught in Senegal where he is currently living.

Ago 28, 2007, 2:22am

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