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I concur with the reviewer who referred to this book as being for the "type of person who refers to Africa as the black continent." While the book does contain some useful and interesting information on the history of the Africa, it was certainly written from a western perspective for a western audience that doesn't care to expand it's perspective. And not a current western perspective, but a very outdated conservative perspective. July continually uses the terms "before Christ" and "after Christ" to refer to time frames; which I find grating and unprofessional in a historical text: This isn't for a theology class. Additionally, he constructs a theory that Africa would have fared better if only the people of Africa would have accepted Christianity (and other western thought, but mostly Christianity) all while downplaying the toll that slavery took on the continent. The text is also filled with vague references to his views on subjects such as abortion, which I don't really need to see in what's supposed to be a history book, and that I probably could have surmised independently based on his obvious adherence to Christianity. The book is also written in a very dry tone with rather haphazard structure that makes it a chore to read. Of course, if you're picking up this book it's most likely for a class you need it for so my review won't save you from the tedium of reading it. Good luck.
This book, in my estimation, is one of the better books on the continent of Africa. A continent that has produced so much, yet it is still underated, being spoiled and plundered by outside intervention for many centuries. How far does one have to go back in order to find it`s beginnings, it`s origin, it`s roots? How long had Africa been a thriving, advanced civilization prior to the intervention of the Europeans? Who were the Olmec people, and how many centuries did the great kings of Mali rule their kingdoms, and should the Egyptians be called african, also. Why is modern day africa still reeling from the influence of colonialism and despotism.
while at times july loses his preachy "lessons of Africa as lessons of the world" lecture mode, mostly the book is dry preexisting generalizations about the continent. he fails to preempt the possibility that whoever may be reading his book has some basic knowledge of Africa and African History. You may find some of his insights helpful if you are the type person who refers to africa as the 'black continent.' Evem if this is required for a class, don't buy. your prof. couldn't concievably test you over the words of this quack.