Lost Cities of Africa

ISBN-10: 0316174319

ISBN-13: 9780316174312

Edition: Revised 

Authors: Basil Risbridger Davidson

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Book details

List price: $21.99
Publisher: Little Brown & Company
Publication date: 11/28/1988
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 366
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Basil Risbridger Davidson began his journalistic career as a member of the editorial staff of The Economist in 1938. That assignment was interrupted by World War II, during which Davidson served in the British army with distinction, receiving the Military Cross, the U.S. Bronze Star, and the Jugoslav Zasluge za Narod for his service in the Balkans, North Africa, and Italy. After being demobilized from the service, Davidson returned to journalism, first as the diplomatic correspondent of The Star and then as the Paris correspondent of The Times. He went on to become chief foreign lead writer and then special correspondent for the New Statesman, special correspondent for the Daily Herald, and lead writer for the Daily Mirror. As a journalist he published numerous works of fiction including Highway Forty (1949), Golden Horn (1952), The Rapids (1955), Lindy (1958), and The Andrassy Affair (1966) His nonfiction work includes Partisan Picture (1946), Germany from Potsdam to Partition (1948), and Daybreak in China (1953). Most of these were the outcome of his wartime experiences and subsequent career in journalism. During these years Davidson took an increasing interest in the African past. This interest brought him to the University of Ghana as a visiting professor in 1964 and as professor in 1965. Since that time he has devoted himself to the discovery of that history. He published his first work on Africa, Report on Southern Africa, in 1952. A host of other publications followed. His work has been characterized not only by his sympathy for Africa and for the Africans but also by the explication of the African past with a combination of the thoroughness of an investigative reporter and a style that has made his books popular with a large international audience. Although some of Davidson's earlier conclusions have been revised by later scholarly research, this in no way has diminished his influence on giving legitimacy to the history of Africa. His readable elucidation of African history has brought him many honors and awards over the years. His most effective exposition of the African past, however, may have been as author and narrator of a popular eight-part television documentary of Africa's history that aired in 1984. His most reflective thoughts on his research and writing on the African past may be found in his latest book, The Black Man's Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation State (1992).

Preface to This Edition
Introduction: The Rediscovery of Africa
The Peopling of Ancient Africa
The Possibility of African History
Lines of Migration
The Desert Barrier
Giants and Heroes
The Mystery of Meroe
Lords of the Southern Frontier
Egypt, Libya, Kush
The Triumph of Kush
An Athens in Africa?
Kingdoms of the Old Sudan
Early West Africa: Discoveries at Nok
From Kush and Carthage
The Coming of Iron
"Business with the King of Timbuktu"
The Sao and Kanem
In Darfur
Eclipse and Survival
Between the Niger and the Congo
Beyond the Savannah
The Great Distortion
Unity in Diversity
To the Southward
The Southern Zanj
Discoveries at Kalambo
The Foundations of Southern Civilization
Traders of the Indian Ocean
Sheba's Cities
Sailing Down Africa
The Nature of the Trade
China and Africa
Fair Cities of Stone
A Forgotten Civilization
Arab or African?
Steps to the Interior
After Axum
The Greatness of Ethiopia
The Distant Past of East Africa
Inland History
Who Were the "Azanians"?
The Builders of the South
"An Exceeding Great Country"
King Solomon's Mines?
Verdict from the Evidence
Medieval Rhodesia
The Golden Burials of Mapungubwe
In the Old Transvaal
Niekerk and Inyanga: Forts and Terraces
The Reality Behind the Ruins
Some Points of Comparison
A Period of Greatness
The Bud and the Flower
What Is Now Required
Decline and Fall
The Fabric of Society
Nomads at the Gate
The Gate Flung Open
History Begins Anew
General Bibliography
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