45th out of 65 books — 23 voters
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Understanding Contemporary Africa (Understanding: Introductions to the States and Regions of the Contemporary World)
by April A. Gordon , Donald L. Gordon , Virginia DeLancey, George Joseph, Ambrose Moyo, Jeffrey W. Neff, Julius E. Nyang'Oro, Thomas O'Toole , more…Peter J. Schraeder, Eugenia Shanklin …less
This book was used for an Afro American studies course. Very helpful.
Paperback, 477 pages
Published November 13th 2006 by Lynne Rienner Pub
(first published August 1996)
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A solid but somewhat uneven introduction to Africa. The chapters are thematic, with topics like the role of women, religion, International Relations, and the environment from the pre-colonial era to the present day. In general each section is quite informative, but some chapters seem more vital than others. For example, the chapter on African Literature is 40 pages long, and really amounts to little more than a listing of authors - there's not much substance. By contrast, the chapter on African ...more
This book is a great introduction to contemporary Africa. It manages to quickly summarize historical underpinnings and cover a relatively wide array of current affairs. As with any compilation, some sections are better than others. Unfortunately April Gordon herself is on the low end of the contributors. She actually writes, "Africans hate all generalizations about Africa." Maybe she is trying to be humorous...