The University of Wisconsin Press
African Studies / History / Environment / Anthropology
Economy, Society, and Environment in Central Africa
Africa and the Diaspora: History, Politics, Culture
“An original work of sociopolitical and environmental history and development studies.”
Jan Vansina, author of Antecedents to Modern Rwanda: The Nyiginya Kingdom
Nachituti’s Gift challenges conventional theories of economic development with a compelling comparative case study of inland fisheries in Zambia and Congo from pre- to postcolonial times. Neoclassical development models conjure a simple, abstract progression from wealth held in people to money or commodities; instead, Gordon argues, primary social networks and oral charters like “Nachituti’s Gift” remained decisive long after the rise of intensive trade and market activities. Interweaving oral traditions, songs, and interviews as well as extensive archival research, Gordon’s lively tale is at once a subtle analysis of economic and social transformations, an insightful exercise in environmental history, and a revealing study of comparative politics.
“A sophisticated, accessible, and graceful analysis of economic and social transformations from the pre- to the post-colonial era in Zambia and Congo. Makes a significant contribution to African, economic, environmental, colonial, and post-colonial history.”—Thomas Spear, series editor and author of Mountain Farmers: Moral Economies of Land and Agricultural Development in Arusha and Meru
David Gordon is assistant professor of history at Bowdoin College.
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LC: 2005008261 DT
304 pp. 6 x 9 14 b/w photos
4 maps, 2 graphs, 2 charts
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