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African Studies: The African Poor: A History Series Number 58 (Paperback)
  • African Studies: The African Poor: A History Series Number 58 (Paperback)
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African Studies: The African Poor: A History Series Number 58 (Paperback)

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£25.99
Paperback 400 Pages / Published: 25/12/1987
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This history of the poor of Sub-Saharan Africa begins in the monasteries of thirteenth-century Ethiopia and ends in the South African resettlement sites of the 1980s. Its thesis, derived from histories of poverty in Europe, is that most very poor Africans have been individuals incapacitated for labour, bereft of support, and unable to fend for themselves in a land-rich economy. There has emerged the distinct poverty of those excluded from access to productive resources. Natural disaster brought widespread destitution, but as a cause of mass mortality it was almost eliminated in the colonial era, to return to those areas where drought has been compounded by administrative breakdown. Professor Iliffe investigates what it was like to be poor, how the poor sought to help themselves, how their counterparts in other continents live. The poor live as people, rather than merely parading as statistics. Famines have alerted the world to African poverty, but the problem itself is ancient. Its prevailing forms will not be understood until those of earlier periods are revealed and trends of change are identified. This is a book for all concerned with the future of Africa, as well as for students of poverty elsewhere.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521348775
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 590 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'This is history which is in empathy with Africa which seeks, and finds, the positive elements in the suffering of the poor.' The Times Higher Education Supplement
'This pioneering book is both comprehensive and also eminently fair: whether in dealing with pre-colonial, colonial, or contemporary conditions, Iliffe presents a splendidly balanced and unprejudiced view always meticulously supported by the factual evidence.' American Anthropologist
"This tour de force could only be written by someone with a vast library at his disposal, and Iliffe has used his sources well indeed." Journal of Developing Areas
"John Iliffe has written a very important book." American Historical Review
"Iliffe provides us with a useful compilation of fascinating anecdotes and data organized by geography, chronology, religion, and ethnicity. He tells us who the poor were and what Ethiopian emperors, Christian missionaries, the King of the Kuba, and social welfare civil servants thought of the poor." Irving Leonard Markovitz, Queens College and Graduate Center of CUNY, in the American Journal of Sociology

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