THE LAST CIVILIZED PLACE SIJILMASA AND ITS SAHARAN DESTINY

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The Last Civilized Place

Author : Ronald A. Messier
ISBN : 9780292766655
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 40.96 MB
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Set along the Sahara's edge, Sijilmasa was an African El Dorado, a legendary city of gold. But unlike El Dorado, Sijilmasa was a real city, the pivot in the gold trade between ancient Ghana and the Mediterranean world. Following its emergence as an independent city-state controlling a monopoly on gold during its first 250 years, Sijilmasa was incorporated into empire—Almoravid, Almohad, and onward—leading to the "last civilized place" becoming the cradle of today's Moroccan dynasty, the Alaouites. Sijilmasa's millennium of greatness ebbed with periods of war, renewal, and abandonment. Today, its ruins lie adjacent to and under the modern town of Rissani, bypassed by time. The Moroccan-American Project at Sijilmasa draws on archaeology, historical texts, field reconnaissance, oral tradition, and legend to weave the story of how this fabled city mastered its fate. The authors' deep local knowledge and interpretation of the written and ecological record allow them to describe how people and place molded four distinct periods in the city's history. Messier and Miller compare models of Islamic cities to what they found on the ground to understand how Sijilmasa functioned as a city. Continuities and discontinuities between Sijilmasa and the contemporary landscape sharpen questions regarding the nature of human life on the rim of the desert. What, they ask, allows places like Sijilmasa to rise to greatness? What causes them to fall away and disappear into the desert sands?
Category: Social Science

Counting Islam

Author : Tarek Masoud
ISBN : 9781139991865
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 85.43 MB
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Why does Islam seem to dominate Egyptian politics, especially when the country's endemic poverty and deep economic inequality would seem to render it promising terrain for a politics of radical redistribution rather than one of religious conservativism? This book argues that the answer lies not in the political unsophistication of voters, the subordination of economic interests to spiritual ones, or the ineptitude of secular and leftist politicians, but in organizational and social factors that shape the opportunities of parties in authoritarian and democratizing systems to reach potential voters. Tracing the performance of Islamists and their rivals in Egyptian elections over the course of almost forty years, this book not only explains why Islamists win elections, but illuminates the possibilities for the emergence in Egypt of the kind of political pluralism that is at the heart of what we expect from democracy.
Category: Political Science

Empires Of Medieval West Africa

Author : David C. Conrad
ISBN : 9781438103198
Genre : Juvenile Nonfiction
File Size : 34.43 MB
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Drawing on a rich oral tradition, numerous trips to the region, and the latest scholarship available on this important but little-studied era, scholar and author David Conrad explores the people, places, and ideas that made up this trio of empires. Connections to life today include the continuing impact of Islam and tribal groups in Africa, and the influence of the medieval traditions on modern music and cuisine.
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Africans

Author : John Iliffe
ISBN : 0521484227
Genre : History
File Size : 65.64 MB
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This history of Africa from the origins of mankind to the South African general election of 1994 refocuses African history on the peopling of an environmentally hostile continent. The social, economic and political institutions of the African continent were designed to ensure survival and maximize numbers, but in the context of medical progress and other twentieth-century innovations these institutions have bred the most rapid population growth the world has ever seen. The history of the continent is thus a single story binding living Africans to the earliest human ancestors.
Category: History

The Great Caliphs

Author : Amira K. Bennison
ISBN : 9780300154894
Genre : History
File Size : 38.6 MB
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In this accessibly written history, Amira K. Bennison contradicts the common assumption that Islam somehow interrupted the smooth flow of Western civilization from its Graeco-Roman origins to its more recent European and American manifestations. Instead, she places Islamic civilization in the longer trajectory of Mediterranean civilizations and sees the 'Abbasid Empire (750-1258 CE) as the inheritor and interpreter of Graeco-Roman traditions. At its zenith the 'Abbasid caliphate stretched over the entire Middle East and part of North Africa, and influenced Islamic regimes as far west as Spain. Bennison's examination of the politics, society, and culture of the 'Abbasid period presents a picture of a society that nurtured many of the civilized values that Western civilization claims to represent, albeit in different premodern forms: from urban planning and international trade networks to religious pluralism and academic research. Bennison's argument counters the common Western view of Muslim culture as alien and offers a new perspective on the relationship between Western and Islamic cultures.
Category: History

Life Among The Anthros And Other Essays

Author : Clifford Geertz
ISBN : 1400834546
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 31.61 MB
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Clifford Geertz (1926-2006) was perhaps the most influential anthropologist of our time, but his influence extended far beyond his field to encompass all facets of contemporary life. Nowhere were his gifts for directness, humor, and steady revelation more evident than in the pages of the New York Review of Books, where for nearly four decades he shared his acute vision of the world in all its peculiarity. This book brings together the finest of Geertz's review essays from the New York Review along with a representative selection of later pieces written at the height of his powers, some that first appeared in periodicals such as Dissent, others never before published. This collection exemplifies Geertz's extraordinary range of concerns, beginning with his first essay for the Review in 1967, in which he reviews, with muffled hilarity, the anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski. This book includes Geertz's unflinching meditations on Western academia's encounters with the non-Western world, and on the shifting and clashing places of societies in the world generally. Geertz writes eloquently and arrestingly about such major figures as Gandhi, Foucault, and Genet, and on topics as varied as Islam, globalization, feminism, and the failings of nationalism. Life among the Anthros and Other Essays demonstrates Geertz's uncommon wisdom and consistently keen and hopeful humor, confirming his status as one of our most important and enduring public intellectuals.
Category: Social Science

A New Paradigm Of The African State

Author : M. Muiu
ISBN : 9780230618312
Genre : History
File Size : 61.62 MB
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Offers a historical, multidisciplinary perspective on African political systems and institutions, ranging from Antiquity (Egypt, Kush and Axum) to the present with particular focus on their destruction through successive exogenous processes including the Atlantic slave trade, imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism or globalization.
Category: History

1492

Author : Felipe Fernández-Armesto
ISBN : 9781408809501
Genre : Civilization, Medieval
File Size : 57.65 MB
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A vivid new book from an established and bestselling historian.
Category: Civilization, Medieval

The Berber Identity Movement And The Challenge To North African States

Author : Bruce Maddy-Weitzman
ISBN : 9780292745056
Genre : History
File Size : 74.27 MB
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Like many indigenous groups that have endured centuries of subordination, the Berber/Amazigh peoples of North Africa are demanding linguistic and cultural recognition and the redressing of injustices. Indeed, the movement seeks nothing less than a refashioning of the identity of North African states, a rewriting of their history, and a fundamental change in the basis of collective life. In so doing, it poses a challenge to the existing political and sociocultural orders in Morocco and Algeria, while serving as an important counterpoint to the oppositionist Islamist current. This is the first book-length study to analyze the rise of the modern ethnocultural Berber/Amazigh movement in North Africa and the Berber diaspora. Bruce Maddy-Weitzman begins by tracing North African history from the perspective of its indigenous Berber inhabitants and their interactions with more powerful societies, from Hellenic and Roman times, through a millennium of Islam, to the era of Western colonialism. He then concentrates on the marginalization and eventual reemergence of the Berber question in independent Algeria and Morocco, against a background of the growing crisis of regime legitimacy in each country. His investigation illuminates many issues, including the fashioning of official national narratives and policies aimed at subordinating Berbers in an Arab nationalist and Islamic-centered universe; the emergence of a counter-movement promoting an expansive Berber "imagining" that emphasizes the rights of minority groups and indigenous peoples; and the international aspects of modern Berberism.
Category: History

Lost Tribes And Promised Lands

Author : Ronald Sanders
ISBN : 1626542767
Genre : History
File Size : 75.53 MB
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THE COMPLETE ORIGINAL EDITION An utterly revelatory work. Unprecedented in scope, detail, and ambition. In "Lost Tribes and Promised Lands," celebrated historian and cultural critic Ronald Sanders offers a compelling and ideology-shattering history of racial prejudice and myth as shaped by political, religious, and economic forces from the 14th Century to the present day. Written with clear-eyed vigor, Sanders draws on a broad history of art, psychology, politics, and religion to inform his striking and soundly-reasoned assertions. "Lost Tribes and Promised Lands" nimbly zig-zags through space and time, doggedly chipping away at the myopic history of discovery and righteous conquest that has been reiterated for decades by the same ideological forces responsible for centuries of mythological prejudice and racial strife. Placing 14th Century Spanish intolerance (specifically anti-Semitism) as the origins of American racism toward African and Native Americans, Sanders elegantly weaves complex threads of colonial economics, religious exceptionalism, and xenophobia into a heady and often-infuriating thesis on the history of racism. Finally back in print in a complete and cost-accessible edition (when the book was out of print, demand for this important work was so intense that used copies sold for thousands of dollars). Find out why "Lost Tribes and Promised Lands" is a gripping and hegemony-exploding treatise on the history of race in the New World.
Category: History