A look at the struggle between the distinguished Kenyan lawyer S.M. Otieno's Kikuyu widow and his Luo clan.
New York Times Bestseller A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas. Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become? Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
The path towards democracy in Kenya has been long and often tortuous. Though it has been trumpeted as a goal for decades, democratic government has never been fully realised, largely as a result of the authoritarian excesses of the Kenyatta, Moi and Kibaki regimes. This uniquely comprehensive study of Kenya's political trajectory shows how the struggle for democracy has been waged in civil society, through opposition parties, and amongst traditionally marginalised groups like women and the young. It also considers the remaining impediments to democratisation, in the form of a powerful police force and damaging structural adjustment policies. Thus, the authors argue, democratisation in Kenya is a laborious and non-linear process. Kenyans' recent electoral successes, the book concludes, have empowered them and reinvigorated the prospects for democracy, heralding a more autonomous and peaceful twenty-first century.
Poverty is South Africa's greatest challenge. But what is 'poverty'? How can it be measured? And how can it be reduced if not eliminated? In South Africa, human science knowledge about the cost of living grew out of colonialism, industrialization, apartheid and civil resistance campaigns, which makes this knowledge far from neutral or apolitical. South Africans have used the Poverty Datum Line (PDL), Gini coefficients and other poverty thresholds to petition the state, to chip away at the pillars of white supremacy, and, more recently, to criticize the postapartheid government's failures to deliver on some of its promises. Rather than promoting one particular policy solution, this book argues that poverty knowledge teaches us about the dynamics of historical change, the power of racism in white settler societies, and the role of grassroots protest movements in shaping state policies and scientific categories. Readers will gain new perspectives on today's debates about social welfare, redistribution and human rights, and will ultimately find reasons to rethink conventional approaches to advocacy.
After four decades of British rule in colonial Kenya, a previously unknown ethnic name — “Luyia” — appeared on the official census in 1948. The emergence of the Luyia represents a clear case of ethnic “invention.” At the same time, current restrictive theories privileging ethnic homogeneity fail to explain this defiantly diverse ethnic project, which now comprises the second-largest ethnic group in Kenya. In Cartography and the Political Imagination, which encompasses social history, geography, and political science, Julie MacArthur unpacks Luyia origins. In so doing, she calls for a shift to understanding geographic imagination and mapping not only as means of enforcing imperial power and constraining colonized populations, but as tools for articulating new political communities and dissent. Through cartography, Luyia ethnic patriots crafted an identity for themselves characterized by plurality, mobility, and cosmopolitan belonging. While other historians have focused on the official maps of imperial surveyors, MacArthur scrutinizes the ways African communities adopted and adapted mapping strategies to their own ongoing creative projects. This book marks an important reassessment of current theories of ethnogenesis, investigates the geographic imaginations of African communities, and challenges contemporary readings of community and conflict in Africa.
An examination of the conflicts and compromises between Western biomedicine and African traditional therapies in colonial Kenya.
Thirty years after its publication, The Death and Life of Great American Cities was described by The New York Times as "perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning....[It] can also be seen in a much larger context. It is first of all a work of literature; the descriptions of street life as a kind of ballet and the bitingly satiric account of traditional planning theory can still be read for pleasure even by those who long ago absorbed and appropriated the book's arguments." Jane Jacobs, an editor and writer on architecture in New York City in the early sixties, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. Rigorous, sane, and delightfully epigrammatic, Jacobs's small masterpiece is a blueprint for the humanistic management of cities. It is sensible, knowledgeable, readable, indispensable. The author has written a new foreword for this Modern Library edition.
Sub-Saharan Africa has only 12 percent of the global population, yet this region accounts for 50 percent of child deaths, more than 60 percent of maternal deaths, 85 percent of malaria cases, and close to 67 percent of people living with HIV. Sub-Saharan Africa, however, has the lowest number of health workers in the world-significantly fewer than in South Asia, which is at a comparable level of economic development. The Labor Market for Health Workers in Africa uses the analytical tools of labor markets to examine the human resource crisis in health from an economic perspective. Africa's labor markets are complex, with resources coming from governments, donors, the private sector, and households. Low numbers of health workers and poor understanding of labor market dynamics are major impediments to improving health service delivery. Yet some countries in the region have developed innovative solutions with new approaches to creating a robust health workforce that can respond to the continent's health challenges. As Africa grows economically, the invaluable lessons in this book can help build tomorrow's African health systems.
South African novelist Sol T Plaatje (1876–1932) was a pioneer in the fight against racism in his country. He labored as a political activist to advance governmental reforms and promote civil rights for oppressed blacks. His Mhudi, penned in 1919–20 but published in 1930, represents the first full-length novel in English by a black South African writer. Today regarded as a classic for its skillful utilization of the African oral narrative and its robust validation of the positive qualities of African customs, the story of Mhudi, the harvester, and her romance with birdman Ra-Thaga is set during the country’s cataclysmic wars of possession of the 1830s. Plaatje’s heroine, Mhudi, is an enduring symbol of resilience of spirit and the belief in a new day.
We know that our world is undergoing seismic change—but how can we emerge from the crisis a fairer, more equal society? Over the past two centuries or so, capitalism has undergone profound changes—economic cycles that veer from boom to bust—from which it has always emerged transformed and strengthened. Surveying this turbulent history, Paul Mason’s Postcapitalism argues that we are on the brink of a change so big and so profound that this time capitalism itself, the immensely complex system within which entire societies function, will mutate into something wholly new. At the heart of this change is information technology, a revolution that is driven by capitalism but, with its tendency to push the value of much of what we make toward zero, has the potential to destroy an economy based on markets, wages, and private ownership. Almost unnoticed, in the niches and hollows of the market system, swaths of economic life are beginning to move to a different rhythm. Vast numbers of people are changing how they behave and live, in ways contrary to the current system of state-backed corporate capitalism. And as the terrain changes, new paths open. In this bold and prophetic book, Mason shows how, from the ashes of the crisis, we have the chance to create a more socially just and sustainable economy. Although the dangers ahead are profound, he argues that there is cause for hope. This is the first time in human history in which, equipped with an understanding of what is happening around us, we can predict and shape the future.
One of UNESCO's most important publishing projects in the last thirty years, the General History of Africa marks a major breakthrough in the recognition of Africa's cultural heritage. Offering an internal perspective of Africa, the eight-volume work provides a comprehensive approach to the history of ideas, civilizations, societies and institutions of African history. The volumes also discuss historical relationships among Africans as well as multilateral interactions with other cultures and continents.
'Richly documented and convincingly presented' -- New Society Mods and Rockers, skinheads, video nasties, designer drugs, bogus asylum seeks and hoodies. Every era has its own moral panics. It was Stanley Cohen’s classic account, first published in the early 1970s and regularly revised, that brought the term ‘moral panic’ into widespread discussion. It is an outstanding investigation of the way in which the media and often those in a position of political power define a condition, or group, as a threat to societal values and interests. Fanned by screaming media headlines, Cohen brilliantly demonstrates how this leads to such groups being marginalised and vilified in the popular imagination, inhibiting rational debate about solutions to the social problems such groups represent. Furthermore, he argues that moral panics go even further by identifying the very fault lines of power in society. Full of sharp insight and analysis, Folk Devils and Moral Panics is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand this powerful and enduring phenomenon. Professor Stanley Cohen is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics. He received the Sellin-Glueck Award of the American Society of Criminology (1985) and is on the Board of the International Council on Human Rights. He is a member of the British Academy.
Spanning four decades of active scholarship by Professor Bethwell Allan Ogot, these essays reflect the range of his concerns, from the methodology of African history with his own emphasis on oral traditions, to the need to debunk the myth of the role of the outsider as the genius behind African achievements. They also examine the need for interdisciplinary scholarship in the reconstruction of the African past, his engagement with his own people, the Kenyans, and his concerns and reflections on the pitfalls of African independence.
This powerful novel of a young Kenyan woman's journey is "a worthy winner of the Sinclair Prize"--The Independent.
Despite a quarter century of "nation building," most African states are still driven by ethnic particularism--commonly known as "tribalism." The stubborn persistence of tribal ideologies despite the profound changes associated with modernization has puzzled scholars and African leaders alike. The bloody hostilities between the tribally-oriented Zulu Inkhata movement and supporters of the African National Congress are but the most recent example of tribalism's tenacity. The studies in this volume offer a new historical model for the growth and endurance of such ideologies in southern Africa.
Covers every aspect of knowledge--scientific, intellectual, and historical--from the beginning of the human experience into the twenty-first century and beyond
Expounds a new concept of human security- one that focuses on the security of people in their homes, in their jobs, in their communities and in their environment.

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