Africa's Discovery of Europe

Africa's Discovery of Europe

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This groundbreaking book examines the full range of African-European encounters from an unfamiliar African perspective rather than from the customary European one. By featuring vivid life stories of individual Africans and drawing upon their many recorded sentiments, David Northrup presents African perspectives that persuasively challenge stereotypes about African-European relations as they unfolded in Africa, Europe, and the Atlantic world between 1450 and 1850. The text features thematically organized chapters that explore first impressions, religion and politics, commerce and culture, imported goods and technology, the Middle Passage, and Africans in Europe. In addition, Northrup offers a thoughtful examination of Africans' relations -- intellectual, commercial, cultural, and sexual -- with Europeans, tracing how the patterns of behavior that emerged from these encounters shaped pre-colonial Africa. The book concludes with an examination of the roles of race, class, and culture in early modern times, pointing out which themes in Africa's continuing discovery of Europe after 1850 were similar to earlier patterns, and why other themes were different.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 148.6 x 214.1 x 18.5mm | 358.33g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • 3rd Revised edition
  • black & white illustrations, maps
  • 0199941211
  • 9780199941216
  • 1,412,402

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Review quote

"Africa's Discovery of Europe is one of the rare accounts of the era of the Atlantic Slave Trade that places African perceptions and interactions with Europe at the center of its analysis. The book deftly covers a wide variety of geographical locations and societies in order for us to gain a better understanding of how African elites and societies grappled with the economic, political and cultural transformations brought about as a result of the growth in Atlantic commerce."--Hilary Jones, University of Maryland, College ParkBoth in conception and execution, this is a very original piece of work. The author combs an enormous amount of literature to forge coherent and refreshing new interpretations from eclectically existing facts. Arthur Abraham, Virginia State University "This book provides an important reinterpretation of the position of the African continent in global history, clearly introducing complex historical topics to the students of African and world history. The comparative approach to the study of Africa's influence in Europe illustrates the neglected theme that many history textbooks fail to highlight."--Ibrahim Hamza, Virginia Commonwealth University "Northrup's writing is clear and engaging and students respond well to the insights into the many sophisticated aspects of African culture and society they may not be exposed to otherwise. The book does an excellent job demonstrating that Africans were not simple victims of slavery but took an active role in shaping their world."--Matthew Hassett, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Coastal Carolina University"The book is chock full of the sort of information that students won't find in the standard survey texts. The snapshots of the lives of Africans are the most appealing and invaluable contributions the book makes. The fact that Africa's Discovery stresses the agency, rather than the victimization, of many Africans (including some of those

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About David Northrup

David Northrup is Professor Emeritus of History at Boston College. He is the co-author of The Diary of Antera Duke: An Eighteenth-Century African Slave Trader (OUP, 2010) and author of How English Became the Global Language (2013), The Atlantic Slave Trade, Third Edition (2011), and Crosscurrents inthe Black Atlantic, 1770-1965 (2007). He is also a contributor to the Oxford Handbook on the Atlantic World, c. 1450-1820 (OUP, 2009), Oxford Bibliographies Online, the Oxford History of the British Empire (OUP, 1999), and its companion series, Black Experience and the Empire (OUP, 2004).

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