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Like What Our Peasants Still Are

Landeg White: Afrocentrism, 13 May 1999

Afrocentrism: Mythical Pasts and Imagined Homes 
by Stephen Howe.
Verso, 337 pp., £22, June 1998, 1 85984 873 7
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... by way of chopping, biting, thwacking and impaling) all symbols of black male genitalia? Was the white race produced by women lepers who fled to the Caucasus and coupled with jackals? Do surnames like Dunn, Grey and Douglas, and place-names like Dublin and Blackpool, indicate concealed African origins? Were the Mende people of West Africa the first to ...

The Dignity of Merchants

Landeg White, 10 August 2000

In Search of Africa 
by Manthia Diawara.
Harvard, 288 pp., £17.50, December 1998, 0 674 44611 9
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... film about Sekou Touré whom, despite everything, he still admires. Sekou Touré was not afraid of white men. He championed education and self-help, giving Diawara his first vision of a future for himself. He stood up to De Gaulle, refusing to remain, like other Francophone countries, within the French neocolonial orbit. He lived austerely, without a Swiss ...


Basil Davidson, 9 September 1993

High Noon in Southern Africa: Making Peace in a Rough Neighbourhood 
by Chester Crocker.
Norton, 533 pp., £19.95, May 1993, 0 393 03432 1
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Small Wars, Small Mercies: Journeys in Africa’s Disputed Nations 
by Jeremy Harding.
Viking, 441 pp., £17.99, May 1993, 0 670 83391 6
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Bridging the Zambesi: A Colonial Folly 
by Landeg White.
Macmillan, 233 pp., £40, March 1993, 0 333 55170 2
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... there is peace in Eritrea and every likelihood it will continue. It is a pleasure also to read Landeg White’s tolerant and wise account of the colonial follies epitomised by a great Zambesi railway project of earlier years. Taking the many-spanned bridge across the Zambesi at Sena as his centrepiece, Dr ...

African History without Africans

Basil Davidson: Portugal’s Empire, 18 February 1999

The Lusiads 
by Luí Vaz de Camões, translated by Landeg White.
Oxford, 258 pp., £6.99, October 1997, 0 19 283191 7
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Counterinsurgency in Africa: The Portuguese Way of War, 1961-1974 
by John Cann.
Greenwood, 216 pp., $59.95, February 1998, 0 313 30189 1
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The Decolonisation of Portuguese Africa 
by Norrie MacQueen.
Longman, 280 pp., £15.99, February 1998, 0 582 25993 2
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African Guerrillas 
edited by Christopher Clapham.
James Currey, 208 pp., £40, September 1998, 0 85255 815 5
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... The answers were to be grim and many. Now, in our happily inglorious days, we have them again, in Landeg White’s new English version of Os Lusíadas. This is admirably done, being neither rumbustious nor boastful but shrewdly suited to the spirit of a modern readership. Above all, perhaps, it comes most appropriately for the winding up of Portugal’s ...

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