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The Peopling of Africa: A Geographic Interpretation

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Discovering the African past takes one on a journey back to the origins of humanity over four million years ago, which is where James L. Newman begins his account of the continent's peoples. He ends it at the onset of the colonial era in the late nineteenth century, noting that "Africa and Africans deserve to be known on their own terms, and to achieve this goal we need to Discovering the African past takes one on a journey back to the origins of humanity over four million years ago, which is where James L. Newman begins his account of the continent's peoples. He ends it at the onset of the colonial era in the late nineteenth century, noting that "Africa and Africans deserve to be known on their own terms, and to achieve this goal we need to improve our understanding of what took place before colonialism rewrote many of life's rules." African identities constitute one of Newman's main themes, and thus he discusses the roles played by genetic background, language, occupation, and religion. Population distribution is the other main theme running through the book. As a geographer, the author uses regions, spaces, and places as his filters for viewing how Africans have responded through time to differing natural and human environmental circumstances. Drawing on the fields of biology, archaeology, linguistics, history, anthropology, and demography, as well as geography, Newman describes the richness and diversity of Africa's inhabitants, the technological changes that transformed their lives, how they formed polities from small groups of kin to states and empires, and how they were influenced by external forces, particularly the slave trade. Maps are an important part of the book, conveying information and helping readers interrelate local, regional, continental, and global contexts.


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Discovering the African past takes one on a journey back to the origins of humanity over four million years ago, which is where James L. Newman begins his account of the continent's peoples. He ends it at the onset of the colonial era in the late nineteenth century, noting that "Africa and Africans deserve to be known on their own terms, and to achieve this goal we need to Discovering the African past takes one on a journey back to the origins of humanity over four million years ago, which is where James L. Newman begins his account of the continent's peoples. He ends it at the onset of the colonial era in the late nineteenth century, noting that "Africa and Africans deserve to be known on their own terms, and to achieve this goal we need to improve our understanding of what took place before colonialism rewrote many of life's rules." African identities constitute one of Newman's main themes, and thus he discusses the roles played by genetic background, language, occupation, and religion. Population distribution is the other main theme running through the book. As a geographer, the author uses regions, spaces, and places as his filters for viewing how Africans have responded through time to differing natural and human environmental circumstances. Drawing on the fields of biology, archaeology, linguistics, history, anthropology, and demography, as well as geography, Newman describes the richness and diversity of Africa's inhabitants, the technological changes that transformed their lives, how they formed polities from small groups of kin to states and empires, and how they were influenced by external forces, particularly the slave trade. Maps are an important part of the book, conveying information and helping readers interrelate local, regional, continental, and global contexts.

31 review for The Peopling of Africa: A Geographic Interpretation

  1. 4 out of 5

    May Ling

    A great introductory book to understanding the geography and social regions of Africa. This book is introductory and I used it as such to start to learn a bit about a continent I knew almost nothing about. Newman swiftly describes each of the regions, their initial anthropolical history, some of the highlights about the rise of their agrigarian societies and major changes that adjusted the moving politic of the region. I appreciate that the history is more about what Africa was and less about wh A great introductory book to understanding the geography and social regions of Africa. This book is introductory and I used it as such to start to learn a bit about a continent I knew almost nothing about. Newman swiftly describes each of the regions, their initial anthropolical history, some of the highlights about the rise of their agrigarian societies and major changes that adjusted the moving politic of the region. I appreciate that the history is more about what Africa was and less about what imperialism turned it into. In this regard, you can start to get a better sense for what the lay of the land could have been and use other books to obtain more detail about the exact nastiness of each culture's imperialist experience. I give it high marks for newbies like me.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Katie Hermes

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chau

  4. 5 out of 5

    Charles Hoots

  5. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Watts

  6. 5 out of 5

    Annie Yueh

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lynne

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michael J.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ryanpatsfan

  10. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Jeanette

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alharouss

  12. 5 out of 5

    Oladipupo Lekan

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Koch

  14. 5 out of 5

    Saitoti Joel

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tom Schneitter

  16. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Van Dyke

  17. 5 out of 5

    Samara

  18. 4 out of 5

    Adegrassi

  19. 4 out of 5

    Madungu84

  20. 5 out of 5

    Arwick

  21. 5 out of 5

    Marin

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chad Ward

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lana

  24. 5 out of 5

    Manuel Bett

  25. 4 out of 5

    Annalise McGrail

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mwanafunzi

  27. 4 out of 5

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  28. 4 out of 5

    Victor Borda

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chukwudi Nweze

  30. 5 out of 5

    Peterson Philbert

  31. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

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