Review from ROAPE Volume 12 Number 34
Making of Contemporary Africa: Dev. since 1800 (Freund)
The need for a more critical and alternative approach to general African history, as essayed by Bernstein and Depelchin, ("The Object of African History: a materialist perspective"), History in Africa, 5 (1978), 6 (1979) has become compelling. Freund's introductory book is a welcome response to this need. African historiographical discussions have long emphasised sources and techniques of assembling data. For reasons connected to the well-known problems of reconstructing Africa's preliterate past, this concern can be appreciated. But it high time historical discussions also paid serious attention to the principles for interpreting the agglomerated data, This is where the materialist method comes in.