The Black Man’s Burden
Title Details

368 Pages

21.6 x 13.7 cm

Imprint: James Currey

The Black Man's Burden

Africa and the Curse of the Nation-state

by Basil Davidson

  • Description
  • Reviews
Basil Davidson is the most effective popularizer of African history and archaeology outside Africa and certainly the best trusted in Africa itself. - Roland Oliver in THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS

Basil Davidson on the nation-state in Africa and its huge disappointments, its relationship to the colonial years and the parallels with events in Eastern Europe.

North America: Times/Random House
"...truly a tour de force, a bold and stimulating work. With skill and sympathy, Basil Davidson sets up the lines of a debate that has long been waiting to be born." Ivor Wilks, author of Asante in the Nineteenth Century
"Few people know sub-Saharan Africa better than Basil Davidson. Few people know more about its history. None has analysed its heritage and its dramatic predicament today with greater perceptiveness and passion. This is a book of major importance. The Black Man's Burden is not only about Africa, but about ethnicity, nations, and the problem of living together in society everywhere." Eric Hobsbawm, author of Nations & Nationalism
"Basil Davidson gives us an informed and concerned reflection on Africa's current deep disappointments with the nation-state. His exploration of its relation to the wasted years of colonialism and also its parallel with the dramatic developments of Eastern Europe offer a clear and illuminating explanation. This is exciting reading. -" Immanuel Wallerstein
"It is a great read. His attacking power springs from lucidity, humanity and dramatic artistry...Of the recent general books on nationalism this is the most useful one to recommend to undergraduate historians" John Lonsdale, JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORY
"In this sustained attack upon nation-statism and its oppressive tendencies, Davidson brings to bear his vast knowledge of both Africa and the Balkans. This is a knowledge born not only of study, but of tramping through the bush with the guerrillas of Vojvodina and Angola. Davidson's admiration for the democratizing effects of grass-roots mobilization goes right back to his youthful years with Tito's partisans; and his attack upon rampant nationalism in Africa is equally relevant, as he demonstrates, to the bloody disintegration of Tito's federation..." Gerald Moore, LE MONDE DIPLOMATIQUE



September 1992


$36.95 / £24.99

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Title Details

368 Pages

2.16 x 1.37 cm

Imprint: James Currey