War of Words, War of Stones

War of Words, War of Stones : Racial Thought and Violence in Colonial Zanzibar

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The Swahili coast of Africa is often described as a paragon of transnational culture and racial fluidity. Yet, during a brief period in the 1960s, Zanzibar became deeply divided along racial lines as intellectuals and activists, engaged in bitter debates about their nation's future, ignited a deadly conflict that spread across the island. War of Words, War of Stones explores how violently enforced racial boundaries arose from Zanzibar's entangled history. Jonathon Glassman challenges explanations that assume racial thinking in the colonial world reflected only Western ideas. He shows how Africans crafted competing ways of categorizing race from local tradition and engagement with the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 414 pages
  • 154.94 x 226.06 x 27.94mm | 566.99g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 15 b&w illus., 5 maps
  • 025322280X
  • 9780253222800
  • 2,055,496

Review quote

On the whole, the book is well researched and written, and presents the most comprehensive and rigorous study of popular and intellectual discourses on nationalist politics on the islands. . . . It is scrongly recommended to whoever wishes to understand Zanzibar's political history from colonial times to the present. * H-Africa / H-net * Highly recommended. * Choice * This book is a well-researched and thorough history of the racial and nationalist discourse during the Time of Politics in the Zanzibar Islands. . . . It is highly recommended for graduate-level courses on race, nationalism, identity, politics, and Zanzibar. * Islamic Africa * This book is painstakingly researched, providing a compelling portrait of the intricacies of Zanzibari politics in the post-independence period and the historical legacies that shaped those politics. Glassman's theorizing of race in relation to memory, nationalism, and modernity is provocative, raising questions that will certainly stimulate debate. * American Historical Review * This book is a towering achievement. Glassman has gone a long way toward setting the record straight about the sources of racial animosity in late colonial Zanzibar. . . . [T]his immeasurbaly brilliant book . . . will provide a new benchmark for understanding Zanzibari political history. * Journal of Historical Geography * This book is a well organized and well written account of Zanzibar's 'time of politics,' a period spanning from the first elections in 1957 until independence in 1963. A critical political and intellectual history, this book is required reading for anyone interested in Tanzania's history. It, moreover, is a valuable contribution to literature on racial thought and relations in Africa that will appeal widely to both scholars and students. * African Studies Quarterly * [Achieves] a valuable contribution to the study of political discourse, violence, and the organization of space and social relationships in Zanzibar. More generally . . . provide[s] interesting discussions of colonialism, power, identity politics and the ideology of modernization.Nov. 2012 * Africa * [This] book is first and foremost a political and cultural history of the last decade before independence, whose detailed and finely-depicted intricacies, grounded in numerous archival sources and interviews, are explored . . . War of Words, War of Stones is of interest not only to historians but also to sociologists, political scientists, and anthropologists interested in unravelling the threads of wide-scale violence.LIII (4) 212 2013 * Cahiers d'Etudes africaines *show more

About Jonathon Glassman

Jonathon Glassman is Associate Professor of History at Northwestern University. He is author of Feasts and Riot: Revelry, Rebellion, and Popular Consciousness on the Swahili Coast, 1856-1888, which was awarded the Herskovits Prize in African Studies.show more

Table of contents

Preface and AcknowledgmentsNote on UsagePart 1. Introduction 1. Rethinking Race in the Colonial World 2. The Creation of a Racial StatePart 2. War of Words 3. A Secular Intelligentsia and the Origins of Exclusionary Ethnic Nationalism 4. Subaltern Intellectuals and the Rise of Racial Nationalism 5. Politics and Civil Society during the Newspaper WarsPart 3. War of Stones 6. Rumor, Race, and Crime 7. Violence as Racial Discourse 8. "June" as Chosen TraumaConclusion and Epilogue: Remaking RaceGlossaryNotesList of ReferencesIndexshow more

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