The Ghana Reader

History, Culture, Politics

The Ghana Reader

The World Readers

More about this series

Book Pages: 496 Illustrations: 53 illustrations, incl. 12 in Published: January 2016

African Studies, General Interest > Travel

Covering 500 years of Ghana's history, The Ghana Reader provides a multitude of historical, political, and cultural perspectives on this iconic African nation. Whether discussing the Asante kingdom and the Gold Coast's importance to European commerce and transatlantic slaving, Ghana's brief period under British colonial rule, or the emergence of its modern democracy, the volume's eighty selections emphasize Ghana's enormous symbolic and pragmatic value to global relations. They also demonstrate that the path to fully understanding Ghana requires acknowledging its ethnic and cultural diversity and listening to its population's varied voices. Readers will encounter selections written by everyone from farmers, traders, and the clergy to intellectuals, politicians, musicians, and foreign travelers. With sources including historical documents, poems, treaties, articles, and fiction, The Ghana Reader conveys the multiple and intersecting histories of Ghana's development as a nation, its key contribution to the formation of the African diaspora, and its increasingly important role in the economy and politics of the twenty-first century.


"Konadu and Campbell have edited a volume that traces the complexity of Ghana, and its overall representation of a stable African state, in a series of short but insightful entries. . . . The editors have done an excellent job in allowing all sections of Ghana, from farmers, slave traders, and intellectuals to imperialists, to speak and thereby represent Ghana’s evolution to a modern nation-state that exemplifies the challenges and opportunities that face not only Ghana, but all of Africa. Highly recommended. All levels/libraries." — T. M. Reese, Choice

"There is no doubt that The Ghana Reader's rare documents and publications are indispensable to the understanding of Ghana's historical, cultural, and political narrative.... The Ghana Reader is a treasure trove of information." — Kwaku Nti, Journal of Global South Studies

"[A] wonderful introduction to Ghana and its people, stretching all the way back to prehistoric times. Opening this book to virtually any page yields a judiciously selected text that reveals something about Ghana. . . ." — Nicolas van de Walle, Foreign Affairs

"...this judicious collection of readings is a most stimulating introduction for those new to Ghana, while providing scholars already familiar with one of Africa’s most vibrant nations a versatile and accessible teaching tool." — John Parker, African Studies Review

"Overall the selection and presentation of texts works very well in the rich collection. Its readability is strengthened by the editors’ introduction, helpful outlines prior to each of the sub themes, suggestions for further reading, sources, and an index. The collection will appeal to casual readers of cultural or touristic persuasions, who will undoubtedly find something of interest to pursue further, as well as students and scholars of Ghana or sub-Saharan Africa.... [T]he aims of the Reader are accomplished well and it thoroughly succeeds in providing varied and contrasting illuminations of the country we know today as Ghana." — Paul Stacey, African Studies Quarterly

"A celebration of the dynamism, complexity, and allure of Ghana. . . . The book appeals to a broad range of disciplines across the humanities and social sciences and is exemplary of the kind of text that can foster transdisciplinary teaching and scholarship. It is written in a style that is accessible to an undergraduate audience but is also appropriate for graduate education, and will appeal to those that seek to better understand a country with a fascinating and multifaceted history, politics, and culture." — Jacqueline Ignatova, African and Black Diaspora

"Ghana captures all that is West Africa today—its hope and promise, its turbulent politics, its proud but vexed history, its vibrant popular culture, its long engagement with pan-Africanist thought and aspiration. The Ghana Reader does full and eloquent justice to Ghana’s rowdy and cacophonous history and to its luminous promise. The book’s judicious and broad-ranging set of selections will serve as a brilliant primer for non-Ghana scholars and students—and travelers and tourists—and as a stimulating reminder for the already-initiated."  — Charles Piot, author of Nostalgia for the Future: West Africa after the Cold War

"An important and timely book, The Ghana Reader fills the crucial need to better understand a nation that occupies a privileged place in pan-African-oriented life and is increasingly central to economic, political, and cultural cosmopolitanism. Insightfully framing the complexity of Ghanaian history and life and opening up paths for future study, The Ghana Reader will appeal to students and general readers alike." — Jesse Weaver Shipley, author of Living the Hiplife: Celebrity and Entrepreneurship in Ghanaian Popular Music


Availability: In stock
Price: $29.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Kwasi Konadu is Professor of History at the City University of New York and the author of The Akan Diaspora in the Americas and Transatlantic Africa: 1440–1888
Clifford C. Campbell received his Ph.D. from the University of Ghana, Legon, and writes about African and African diaspora history.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  xiii

Introduction  1

I. One Nation, Many Histories  17

II. Between the Sea and the Savanna, 1500–1700  81

III. Commerce and the Scrambles for Africa, 1700–1900  125

IV. Colonial Rule and Political Independence, 1900–1957  207

V. Independece, Coups, and the Republic, 1957–Present  299

VI. The Exigencies of a Postcolony  361

Suggestions for Further Reading  457

Acknowledgments of Copyrights and Sources  461

Index  469
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-5992-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5984-5
Publicity material