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on 18 March 2012
McEvedy packs more detail into 130 pages than you could imagine - from Gondwanaland to the African Union. Whichever region of Africa or period of African history you are interested in, this book gives a crash course in its past and its context. The text is crisp and informative - I read it almost straight through and now dip in to remind myself. It is not a coffee table book - the maps are pretty basic, and there are no photos or other illustrations. Nor should you expect to become much of an expert on anything. But it's clear, straightforward and readable, and all most people need to know. And a classic within Penguin's excellent Historical Atlas range.
3 people found this helpful
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on 23 June 2017
Informative maps, but all of them are in blue-and-white monochrome. Cannot fault the scholarship, though.
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on 15 September 2016
a very short comprehension and an enjoyable edition for beginning to study Africa's history.
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on 21 October 2015
very interesting book
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on 2 April 2015
A very convenient reference work.
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on 18 October 2017
The Maps are excellent. The content however, is not about AFRICAN history. It chronicles the effect of European and Arab influence on African and adopts a ‘19th century’ view of the continent ascribing much of the good in Africa to the influence of foreigners. The term ‘Black Africa’ is often used, implying that there is a ‘non-black Africa’. The inhabitants of North Africa today are as indigenous to the continent as present day Americans are are to North America. The Euro-centric view of Ancient Egypt, is propagated, despite evidence to the contrary.
None-the-less a very useful publication. It should however, be read alongside a more balanced book. I would suggest John Readers ‘ Africa: A Biography’ or anything by Basil Davidson.
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VINE VOICEon 17 November 2008
Africa is often left off the history table, or only gets mentioned through the colonization period - well, here's the perfect antidote. In 59 maps it takes you from Pangaea to 1978, which is quite a lot of long hops! From the basics like the Great Rift, Olduvai and the Omo River Valley, soon yu're taken to 8000 B.C. and the first subgroups of modern mankind. The great migrations, the first empires, the great empires; trade routes, population densities, and foreign incursions. It is all here, laid out clearly and concisely, and a great introduction to African history with a continental viewpoint.
Highly recommended!
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on 17 August 2002
Africa is a continent who's history prior to the Scramble For Africa is often unknown or ignored. This book gives great detail about Africa's history with helpful maps to give the reader a geographical aspect. The text is in the form of a series of essays about each map, allowing quick access to the desired time period.
10 people found this helpful
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