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The African City

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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Urban life emerges in Africa; 2. African cities and the emergence of a world trading economy; 3. Colonialism and urbanisation; 4. Cities in revolt: the long term crisis of South African urbanism; 5. The post-colonial African city; 6. Globalisation and the African city: Touba, Abidjan, Durban.

About the Author

Bill Freund is Professor of Economic History and Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is the author of many books, including The African Worker (Cambridge University Press, 1995).


"Bill Freund's sophisticated yet accessible book... adds to the recent growth of interest in urbanism in its multiple forms in Africa. It is alone, however, in discussing cities across the continent, rather than separating sub-Saharan and North Africa, and in including everything from the Bronze Age through modern case studies. In tone the author blends research from the social sciences and history with a frank humanism about the changing quality of life. Freund is not quick to generalize, but rather steadily underscores the diversity of origins, organizing principles, and trajectories in numerous, well-integrated examples." - International Journal of African Historical Studies "For readers who have a desire to understand more about Africa but have little time to chase down current scholarship and research, Professor Freund has aided them by condensing a wide range of previous scholarship into a short but comprehensive look at urban life in Africa from ancient origins to the present." - World History Bulletin "For the nonspecialist the book offers an excellent and timely review of past and continuing debates. For the uninitiated student, it creates an accessible introduction to several views into urban Africa. For the reader in search of an exhaustive continental perspective on histories of African cities, this is a great beginning." Journal of World History, Carolyn Vieira-Martinez, Chapman University

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