A History of Africa

Hosea Jaffe and preface by Samir Amin

New Edition


A masterful study spanning over two thousand years of African history, and which stresses the unique character of the continent's historical development.

Spanning more than two thousand years of African history, from the African Iron Age to the collapse of colonialism and the beginnings of independence, Hosea Jaffe's magisterial work remains one of the few to do full justice to the continent's complex and diverse past.

The great strength of Jaffe's work lies in its unique theoretical perspective, which stresses the distinctive character of Africa's social structures and historical development. Crucially, Jaffe rejects all efforts to impose Eurocentric models of history onto Africa, whether it be liberal notions of 'progress' or Marxist theories of class struggle, arguing instead that the key dynamics underpinning African history are unique to the continent itself, and rooted in conflicts between different modes of production.

The work also includes a foreword by the distinguished economist and political theorist Samir Amin, in which he outlines the contribution of Jaffe’s work to our understanding of African history and its ongoing post-colonial struggles.

Author Bio

Hosea Jaffe was a distinguished historian, economist, and radical activist. Born in South Africa in 1921, he was active in early anti-apartheid politics, until he was forced to flee the country in 1960. Over the course of his life he taught at universities throughout Africa and Europe, and authored numerous works on African history, politics and global economics. He died in Italy in 2014.

Samir Amin is a renowned radical economist, the director of the Forum du Tiers Monde (Third World Forum) in Dakar, Senegal, and chair of the World Forum for Alternatives.

Table of Contents

  • Preface by Samir Amin
  • Part One: African Communism and Despotism
  • Part Two: European Colonialism – Resistance and Collaboration
  • Part Three: Africa in the Inter-National Class Struggle
  • Part Four: Imperialism – African Emancipation


‘[Jaffe’s] views are indeed stimulating … and should reopen a discussion of great importance … I cannot but welcome this History of Africa which our comrade Hosea Jaffe offers us.’
Samir Amin, from the Preface

'Hosea Jaffe, an incisive thinker, presents a very readable analysis of African history. His book, which is of major theoretical importance, provides many insights into African nationalist, class and other struggles, past, present and future.'
Richard Pankhurst, Royal Asiatic Society


Publication Date: 15 February 2017
184 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback 2nd Edition: 9781783609888
Hardback 2nd Edition: 9781786990655
eBook ePub 2nd Edition: 9781783609857
eBook PDF 2nd Edition: 9781783609871
eBook Kindle 2nd Edition: 9781783609864

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