Book

Africa in Global History with Sources

Cover of the book titled "Africa in Global History with Sources."

Robert Harms, the Henry J. Heinz Professor of History

(W.W. Norton & Company)

In this book, Robert Harms presents African history as an ongoing dialogue between global forces and uniquely African developments. Africans did not merely bend before global forces, he contends; they also confronted them and altered them, even though they could not ignore them.

Rather than covering the histories of different regions in separate chapters, Harms offers a chronological integrated survey. By addressing developments in all four of the continent’s major regions (North, South, East, and West) in most chapters, he helps readers understand similarities and differences between regions and societies. Harms has also organized Africa’s major periods around significant thematic shifts, which consistently situate the geographical regions of Africa in their larger global contexts.

Throughout his narrative, Harms consistently highlights the ways in which Africa differs from other global regions. He also examines the commonality, interconnectedness, and cultural diversity of the regions and societies within Africa. Vignettes also show how important events affected ordinary Africans, male and female alike, across kingdoms and belief systems.