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Decolonization & African Society: The Labor Question in French & British Africaby Frederick Cooper
Synopses & Reviews
This authoritative volume changes our conceptions of "imperial" and "African" history. Frederick Cooper gathers a vast range of archival sources to achieve a truly comparative study of colonial policy toward African labor forces. He shows how African trade union and political leaders used the new language of social change to claim equality and a share of power. In the end, Britain and France could not reshape African society. As they left the continent, the question was how they had affected the ways in which Africans could reorganize society themselves.
Large-scale comparative study of African labor and colonial policy.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 627-655) and index.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction; Part I. The Dangers of Expansion and the Dilemmas of Reform: 2. The labor question unposed; 3. Reforming imperialism, 1935-40; 4. Forced labor, strike movements, and the idea of development, 1940-45; Part II. Imperial Fantasies and Colonial Crises: 5. Imperial plans; 6. Crises; Part III. The Imagining of a Working Class: 7. The systematic approach: the French code du Travail; 8. Family wages and industrial relations in British Africa; 9. Internationalists, intellectuals, and the labor question; Part IV. Devolving Power and Abdicating Responsibility: 10. The burden of declining empire; 11. Delinking colony and metropole: French Africa in the 1950s; Conclusion: 12. The wages of modernity and the price of sovereignty.
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