The World and a Very Small Place in Africa: A History of Globalization in Niumi, the Gambia (Sources and Studies in World History)

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9780765624840: The World and a Very Small Place in Africa: A History of Globalization in Niumi, the Gambia (Sources and Studies in World History)

Niumi, a small, little-known territory located on the bank of the Gambia River in West Africa, is seemingly far from the reaches of world historical events. And yet the outside world has long had a significant - and increasingly profound - impact on Niumi. This fascinating work shows how global events have affected people's lives over the past eight centuries in this small region in Africa's smallest country. Drawing on written and oral testimony, and writing in a clear and personal style, Donald R. Wright connects 'globalization' with real people in a real place. This new edition updates discussions of global history and African history based on current studies and new developments that have been factored into the interpretive framework. Reflecting on recent visits to Niumi, Wright extends the story into 2009, to consider the impact of global recession and domestic political repression under a regime in power for the past fifteen years. Punctuating the narrative are photographs, maps, and 'Perspectives' boxes on selected topics such as the sale of slaves five centuries ago, colonial sexism, the fate of press freedom, and how popular culture affects growing up in a traditional society. Throughout, the author deals with African history seriously, global trends critically, and human lives sensitively.

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Review:

"It's really splendid to see this book reemerging in its new edition: it's the best combination of local sensitivity and global awareness I know of. The historical sweep is impressive, giving a sense of several major versions of global interaction. The updating about recent globalization is particularly welcome, but in this larger historical perspective. And the book is accessible to students, another obvious plus." - Peter N. Stearns, George Mason University; "In revising and updating this work, Donald Wright has done the seemingly impossible: he has significantly improved what I have long considered the best teaching book on Africa. Extensively researched, analytic, and inter-disciplinary in approach, the book is equally suited for first-year World or African History surveys, upper level West African classes, and graduate courses on the Atlantic. Extensive interviews done in 2003 give a poignant immediacy to the book, and the photographs and maps match the text well, promoting further understanding among readers who are unfamiliar with the area." - Allen M. Howard, Rutgers University"

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