This book is an intellectual history of colonialism in Africa. The book focuses on ideas espoused by historians and creative writers on various aspects of colonial rule; the sources of the ideas; the vision of a post-colonial society that they created; and a critique of those ideas. Some essays focus on the works of notable scholars such as Ruth First and Ade Ajayi, while some chapters review themes of broad historiographical significance.
In the first part of the book, eight scholars provide various examinations of the context to understand the colonial period, with emphasis on the historical linkages between the colonial era and the post-colonial, nationalism, pan-Africanism, new identities, and new agencies of control. The second part analyzes a number of key literary texts, drawing from the writings on apartheid in South Africa, the works of Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, Micere Mugo, and V.Y. Mudimbe. In the third part, seven essays examine the ideas of Kenneth Dike, Betwell Ogot, Adu Boahen, Ruth First, Ade Ajayi, Cheikh Anta Diop, and Robert Mugabe.
In all, the book moves us in new directions in the study of colonial Africa. It provides the basis to understand the views of leading African scholars, and offers fresh insights on the nature of colonial power and the African encounter with imperialism.
“Well-crafted… Summing Up: Recommended.” — CHOICE Magazine, 2005
“Toyin Falola has created a most remarkable and illuminating volume. This is intellectual history of colonialism in Africa at its very best. It is informative, powerful, prophetic and perhaps most striking of all, lyric. Altogether, Falola has produced a brilliant and timely volume which will contribute greatly to a much-improved understanding of Africa's encounter with colonialism, viewed from the inside-out. Arguably more important, it will serve to point the new generation of students of Africa — and most importantly African students — in the directions from which restoration and change must come.” — Journal of African History
“Editor of the recently published five-volume Africa series from Carolina Academic Press, two volumes of which directly consider colonialism, Falola has produced a separate work here using new scholarship that takes this difficult topic in challenging directions.” — African Studies Review