Synopses & Reviews
African soldiers recruited in the 1890s to fill the ranks of the German East African colonial army, occupy a unique space at the intersection of East African history, German colonial history, and military history. Violent Intermediaries
recovers and reconsiders the origin and role of these men, and of colonial soldiers more generally. Lauded by Germans for their loyalty during the East Africa campaign of World War I, but reviled by Tanzanians for the violence they committed during the making of the colonial state between 1890 and 1918, the askari have been poorly understood as historical agents. Violent Intermediaries
situates them in their everyday household, community, military, and constabulary contexts, as men who helped make colonialism in German East Africa.
By linking microhistories with wider nineteenth-century African historical processes, Michelle Moyd shows that the construction of the German East African colonial army resulted from convergences and collisions among differing conceptions of masculinity, radical reconfigurations of socioeconomic, political, and military structures, and European imperial incursions. As soldiers and colonial intermediaries, the askari built the colonial state while simultaneously carving out paths to respectability, becoming men of influence within their local contexts. Yet their positions as clients of German officer-patrons also exposed their dependency on a particular political order, which in the case of German East Africa proved ephemeral.
Through its focus on the making of empire from the ground up, Violent Intermediaries offers a fresh perspective on African colonial troops as state-making agents and critiques the mythologies surrounding the askari by focusing on the nature of colonial violence.
Moyd examines the askari, African men who fought for the Germancolonial army during the East African campaign of World War I. Their willingness to fight for the Germans cannot be understood withouttaking into account both the social and economic rewards they received and the meaning they attributed to the work, she says. Theiraspirations for respectability tied them and those around them to the colonial state's inherently violent governance practices. Shecovers reconstructing askari realities, recruitment narratives, training and socialization, the askari way of war, station life, askari as agents of everyday colonialism, and making askari myths.Annotation ©2015 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
About the Author
Michelle R. Moyd is an assistant professor of history at Indiana University. Previously, she has been a resident fellow at the International Research Center of Humboldt University, Germany, and at the Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. She was also an instructor in the Department of History at the United States Air Force Academy.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
A Note on Spellings, Currency, and Measurements
Introduction: Reconstructing Askari Realities
Chapter 1: Becoming Askari
Narratives of Early Schutztruppe
Recruitment in Context
Chapter 2: Making Askari Ways of War
Military Training and Socialization
Chapter 3: The Askari Way of War
Chapter 4: Station Life
Chapter 5: Askari as Agents of Everyday Colonialism
Conclusion: Making Askari Myths