Africa Survey course textbook

simonne horwitz's picture

Hi Everyone,

I am looking for suggestions of the best textbook to use for a 200 level Africa survey course.  Any suggestions? Have you used any of these and what do the students tend to think of them?  

Iliffe, Africans

Reid, A History of Modern Africa

Khapoya, The African Experience  

Shillington, History of Africa

Isichel, A History of African Societies

Gilbert and Reynolds, Africa in World History  

Many thanks in advance!

Simonne Horwitz

University of Saskatchewan



I've been very happy with Shillington in both introductory undergrad courses and more recently Adult Education courses. He has updated it several times, most recently as the third edition of 2012.

Robert E. Smith

I really like Robert Harms' Africa in Global History. I've used it for two semesters and I've really liked it.

Toja Okoh (Loyola University, Maryland)

I like the Khapoya book for for a general introduction, especially for adult ed. I like the idea of a specialized African history text and the idea of an Africa in world context book. For niche users, both the _African History: A Very Short Introduction_ and _African Politics: A Very Short Introduction_ are very handy (and inexpensive). Maps are critical, cf,

Brooks Goddard

I would like to suggest that my book, *African Women: Early History to the 21st Century* (Indiana University Press, 2017) be assigned or recommended (sorry for the self-promotion, it is necessary but uncomfortable!). The books you list (and most general histories of Africa) are very limited in their inclusion of women's history. Iliffe, for instance, even in the updated 2017 edition, has only about a dozen references to women in a 300-page book. *African Women* is the only current comprehensive history of African women, demonstrating how African history can be understood when women are the starting point, not relegated to the margins.