El Dorado in West Africa
Title Details

416 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

59 b/w, 15 line illus.

Series: Western African Studies

Imprint: James Currey

El Dorado in West Africa

The Gold-mining Frontier, African Labor and Colonial Capitalism in the Gold Coast, 1875-1900

by Raymond E. Dumett

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  • Reviews
Reveals the impact of European capitalism on an African society.
Gold mining occupies a central place in the economic evolution of Ghana. This text examines the period of transition from traditional mining systems to mechanized, capitalized mining companies in the Akan area of the Gold Coast. Looking at the role of African as well as European mining entrepreneurs, female as well as male mining labor, this study encompasses issues of gender, ethnicity, business organization, pressure groups and exploitation. The author seeks to reveal a new complexity in the economic and social history of mining in the late 19th century. In particular he concludes that it is in the individualization of land transfers to mining concessionaires, rather than in themobilization of a permanent unskilled wage labor force, that the greatest impact on economic and social change can be measured.

"Outstanding Academic Book" American Library Association, 1999 North America: Ohio U Press
"Dumett convincingly depicts the phenomenon of the African farmer-miner ... adds rare depth to pre-colonial business history. Most concessions failed to realize a return on their subscriber's investments. One of the few successful enterprises, the future Ashanti Goldfields Corporation, was established by three educated middle-class coastal Africans" Donna J. Maier, JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORY
"... the book deserves the serious attention of all students of Africa..." Nana Arhin Brempong, AFRICAN AFFAIRS
"This highly readable book will be appreciated by specialist and nonspecialist readers alike. It is a seminal contribution to the economic and social history of colonial West Africa as well as to the ongoing debate about the impact of European capitalism on African societies." Katja Werthmann, AFRICAN STUDIES REVIEW
"It is by far the most deeply researched and analysed study of the origins of any mining industry north of Zimbabwe; unquestionably it is also much the best... This is revisionist history at its best... This excellent book is a triumphant vindication of thorough empiricism." Richard Rathbone, AFRICA
"... a major addition to the growing historiography of Africa..." Simon Katzenellenbogen, BUSINESS HISTORY
"...this carefully researched and engaging book..." John Parker, THE ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

Paperback

9780852557686

January 1999

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Title Details

416 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

59 b/w, 15 line illus.

Series: Western African Studies

Imprint: James Currey