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Political Power in Pre-Colonial Buganda: Economy, Society & Warfare in the Nineteenth Century (Eastern African Studies)by Richard J. Reid
Synopses & Reviews
Blessed with fertile and well-watered soil, East Africa's kingdom of Buganda supported a relatively dense population and became a major regional power by the mid-nineteenth century. This complex and fascinating state has also long been in need of a thorough study that cuts through the image of autocracy and military might.
Political Power in Pre-Colonial Buganda explores the material basis of Ganda political power, gives us a new understanding of what Ganda power meant in real terms, and relates the story of how the kingdom used the resources at its disposal to meet the challenges that confronted it. Reid further explains how these same challenges ultimately limited Buganda's dominance of the East African great lakes region.
Book News Annotation:
The pre-colonial African kingdom of Buganda was situated on the northern shore of Lake Victoria. Reid (history, U. of Asmara, Eritrea) argues that the political history of the state needs to be read in new light given his examination of social, economic, and military developments as the material basis for political power. He explores the relationship between the state, its subjects, and its resources in terms of land, public labor, taxation, regional and long-distance trade, and military organization (to protect trade and resources). The resultant narrative, he argues, is more complex and dynamic than previous scholarship has acknowledged. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Richard Reid is a lecturer in African and Imperial History at the University of Durham.
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History and Social Science » Africa » East Africa