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How Societies are Born By Jan Vansina

How Societies are Born by Jan Vansina

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Summary

Like stars, societies are born, and this story deals with such births. It reconstructs the history of African societies before European contact, employing a provocative combination of archaeology and historical linguistics. The author uncovers what drove each society's developmental path, revealing the motivations behind how societies are born.

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How Societies are Born Summary

How Societies are Born: Governance in West Central Africa Before 1600 by Jan Vansina

Like stars, societies are born, and this story deals with such births. Hitherto neglected by historians, the rise of societies and cultures in West Central Africa is a captivating story. It asks a fundamental and compelling question: How did societies first coalesce from the small foraging communities that had roamed in West Central Africa for many thousands of years? In ""How Societies Are Born"", Vansina continues a career-long effort to reconstruct the history of African societies before European contact, employing a provocative combination of archaeology and historical linguistics to turn his scholarly focus to governance. Whether cattle, initiations, or social position, Vansina uncovers what drove each society's developmental path, revealing the fascinating motivations behind how societies are born.

How Societies are Born Reviews

Even scholars who know better tend to assume without thinking that the people the Portuguese found had been the same since time began. - Book News, Inc. ""How Societies Are Born represents a political and agrarian history of a period and region for which absolutely no scholarly histories have been written, and Vansina possesses rare and unmatched skills in marshaling a recalcitrant and multilingual body of historical sources."" - David Schoenbrun, Northwestern University, author of A Green Place, A Good Place: Agrarian Change, Gender, and Social Identity between the Great Lakes to the 15th Century

About Jan Vansina

Jan Vansina, Professor Emeritus of History and Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, was named the Distinguished Africanist of 1986 and awarded the Herskovits Prize for Kingdoms of the Savanna in 1967, garnering the top two honors given by the African Studies Association Vansina is the author of more than twenty books, including Living with Africa and Paths in the Rainforests.

Additional information

NLS9780813922805
9780813922805
0813922801
How Societies are Born: Governance in West Central Africa Before 1600 by Jan Vansina
New
Paperback
University of Virginia Press
2005-07-30
320
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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