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The African Poor: A History
by John Iliffe
The permanent poverty of the dispossessed as well as the temporary poverty of famine victims is depicted through an account of the African poor that begins in the monasteries of thirteenth century Ethiopia.
Paperback, 400 pages
Published January 13th 2002 by Cambridge University Press
(first published December 25th 1987)
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Boring historical read but gives a much more nuanced understanding of African civilizations before Western imperialism. In the West we have two dueling and equally erroneous ways of viewing Africa before colonialism. Its either the myth of "merry Africa" where peaceful communities took care of each other and no one went without that was destroyed by the West or it is "the dark continent" rife with poverty and slavery and improved by colonialism. The author moves beyond these narratives to histor ...more