Our first copies of Africa in World History arrived today. It’s always a relief to hold the first copies of a new book and make sure we’ve avoided the fate of the person who printed, according to urban publishing legend, an entire work upside down. Our first Berkshire Essential was more fortunate than that, and we are all delighted to the size and feel of this brand-new series. Here’s a bit from the introduction:
“Africa has played a number of often contradictory roles in the writing of world history. Indeed, perhaps no single world region has played so contentious a role. Africa has been derided by some scholars as irrelevant to world history. Conversely, others have argued that Africa lies at the very center of human history. ” —Introduction, Africa in World History
Africa is home to over a billion people speaking more than a thousand different languages. It stretches across more than 11 million square miles, from the Sahara and Sahel in the north to the mineral-resource-rich south, the endangered rainforests of the west, and the Serengeti savannas of the east. Fossils from Ethiopia tell us that the human species originated in Africa, and scholars have different theories about the journey out of Africa made by Homo sapiens some 60,000 years ago. Africa in World History stresses Africa’s interrelatedness to other regions and cultures, from early trade routes, the arrival of Christianity and Islam, and the ramifications of colonialism to contemporary issues such as HIV/AIDS and apartheid that have thwarted Africa’s efforts to establish unity.
Africa in World History is the first book published in the new Berkshire Essentials series, which includes Art in World History, Big History, and more. All Berkshire Essentials will be available in paperback, hardcover, and electronic formats. Read more by clicking here. Berkshire Essentials were inspired by requests from teachers, curriculum planners, and professors who praise the encyclopedic approach we often use, but who still crave single volumes for course use. The Essentials series draws from Berkshire publications on world history, Chinese studies, and environmental sustainability to provide theme-related volumes that can be purchased alone, in any combination, or as a set.