New Books Network

Alanna O’Malley, “The Diplomacy of Decolonisation: America, Britain, and the United Nations during the Congo Crisis, 1960-1964” (Manchester UP, 2020)
In the summer of 1960, the Republic of the Congo won its independence from Belgium. Only one week later, however, Belgium had already dispatched paratroopers into the country and the Congolese government was appealing to the United Nations to intervene and protect Congolese sovereignty. The ensuing crisis, as Alanna O’Malley... Read More
Steven J. L. Taylor, “Exiles, Entrepreneurs, and Educators: African Americans in Ghana” (SUNY Press, 2019)
African Americans have a long history of emigration. In Exiles, Entrepreneurs, and Educators: African Americans in Ghana, Steven J. L. Taylor explores the second wave of African American exiles or repatriates to Ghana in post-1980s. Unlike the first wave of emigrants during the Kwame Nkrumah years (1957-1966), Taylor argues that... Read More
Ken O. Opalo, “Legislative Development in Africa: Politics and Postcolonial Legacies” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
Legislative Development in Africa: Politics and Postcolonial Legacies (Cambridge University Press, 2019) examines the development of African legislatures from their colonial origins through independence, autocracy and the transition to multi-party rule. In it, Ken Ochieng’ Opalo seeks to explain the different trajectories that African legislatures have taken, why some have... Read More
Lynn M. Thomas, “Beneath the Surface: A Transnational History of Skin Lighteners” (Duke UP, 2020)
By 2024, global sales of skin lighteners are projected to reach more than $30 billion. Despite the planetary scale of its use, skin lightening remains a controversial cosmetic practice. Lynn M. Thomas’ new book, Beneath the Surface: A Transnational History of Skin Lighteners (Duke University Press, 2020), investigates what she... Read More
Neil Roberts on How Ideas Become Books in Africana and AfroAm Studies
Where do good ideas come from? How does an idea go from creation to a research project? How is historical research done? And how does research find its way into a finished book? And what impact can a book have? Today, I discuss these topics and more with my colleague... Read More
Mauro Nobili, “Sultan, Caliph, and the Renewer of the Faith” (Cambridge UP, 2020)
In the early 19th century, on the floodplain of the Niger river’s inland delta in West Africa (present-day Mali), the Caliphate of Ḥamdallāhi emerged. The new State, locally known as the Maasina Diina, sought to consolidate its dominance over Fulani, Bamanan, and Arma military and political elites, as well as... Read More
Joyce E. Leader, “From Hope to Horror: Diplomacy and the Making of the Rwanda Genocide” (Potomac Books, 2020)
Earlier this year the world marked the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide.  An occasion for mourning and reflection also offered a chance to reflect on the state of research about the genocide. Among the many books that were published in the past year, Joyce E. Leader‘s new book From Hope... Read More
Kathryn M. De Luna, “Collecting Food, Collecting People: Subsistence and Society in Central Africa” (Yale UP, 2016)
In Collecting Food, Collecting People: Subsistence and Society in Central Africa (Yale University Press, 2016), Kathryn M. De Luna documents the evolving meanings borne in the collection of wild foods for an agricultural people in south central Africa around the turn of the first millennium. It is a history of everyday life... Read More
Frank Wilderson III, “Afropessimism” (Liveright, 2020)
How should we understand the pervasiveness – and virulence – of anti-Black violence in the United State? Why and how is anti-Black racism different from other forms of racism? How does it permeate our moral and political ideals? Frank Wilderson III combines memoir and works of political theory, critical theory,... Read More