Documents from the African Past

This fascinating collection spans two millennia, beginning with a first-century merchant’s guide to the Red Sea and Indian Ocean ports. Primary sources describe ancient and medieval trade routes, China’s discovery of Africa, the slave trade, kingdoms and court life in inner East and West Africa, and the experiences of Asian and European settlers, merchants, and colonialists. There are writings by important local authorities and scholars as well as travelers and administrators from other continents. The ideas of leaders who shaped modern Africa are represented in the documents of Jomo Kenyatta, Haile Selassie, Steven Biko, and Nelson Mandela.

Robert O. Collins was a professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the author of Shadow in the Grass: Britain in the Southern Sudan, 1919-1956 and The Waters of the Nile: Hydropolitics and the Jonglei Canal, 1900-1988, as well as 24 other books. (For a full list of Collins’ titles featured by Markus Wiener, click here.)