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Review of Black Star / The African Slave Trade


By Martin Banham

Black Star: A View of the Life and Times of Kwame Nkrumah. Basil Davidson. James Currey, Oxford: 2007, pp. 225, ISBN 978 184701 010 0, £14.95 (pb).

The African Slave Trade. Basil Davidson. James Currey, Oxford: 2007, pp.304, ISBN 978 0 85255 798 3, ££12.95 (pb).

These are new editions of two of Basil Davidson’s outstanding studies, the first published originally in 1973, and the second in 1961. The study of Nkrumah is supported by a short but pertinent foreword from Emmanuel Kwaku Akyeampong (Professor of History at Harvard), who comments that “Nkrumah comes alive in Black Star ... and the reader gains a new understanding of a great man”. The book is a fine example of Basil Davidson’s humane scholarship, a quality that is pre-eminently evident in his brilliant study of the African slave trade. In 2007, when in Britain we mark the abolition of the slave trade, the re-issue of this volume, in its comprehensiveness, detail and sensitivity, is greatly to be welcomed.

[Published in Leeds African Studies Bulletin 69 (2007), pp. 94-95]

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