The Story of an African Working Class

Ghanaian Miners' Struggles 1870-1980

Jeff Crisp
With a new Foreword by Gavin Hilson

New Edition


A fascinating history of working-class struggle in Ghana's gold mines.

This seminal work tells the story of Ghana's gold miners, one of the oldest and most militant groups of workers in Africa. It is a story of struggle against exploitative mining companies, repressive governments and authoritarian trade union leaders.

Drawing on a wide range of original sources, including previously secret government and company records, Jeff Crisp explores the changing nature of life and work in the gold mines, from the colonial era into the 1980s, and examines the distinctive forms of political consciousness and organization which the miners developed. The study also provides a detailed account of the changing techniques of labour control employed by mining capital and the state, and shows how they failed to curb the workers' solidarity and tradition of militant resistance.

Combining lively historical narrative with original analysis, this book remains a unique contribution to the history of Africa and its working class.

Author Bio

Jeff Crisp is a research associate at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, and an associate fellow at Chatham House. He has previously held senior positions at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Global Commission on International Migration. He is also a respected historian who has written widely on African labour history and current affairs.

Gavin Hilson is a leading global authority on the environmental and social impacts of the small-scale mining sector and has published over a hundred journal articles, book chapters and reports on the subject. He is currently professor and chair of sustainability in business at the University of Sussex.


‘One of the best-written and most carefully-researched studies of African labour history I have read.’
Robin Cohen, from the Preface

'One of the most vivid and important works in the history of African labour and its struggles.'
Richard Jeffries, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London


Publication Date: 15 February 2017
224 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback 2nd Edition: 9781783609765
Hardback 2nd Edition: 9781786990679
eBook ePub 2nd Edition: 9781783609734
eBook PDF 2nd Edition: 9781783609758
eBook Kindle 2nd Edition: 9781783609741

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