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Asante Identities

History and Modernity in an African Village, 1850-1950

Edited by T.C. McCaskie

Paperback (Printed to Order)

Asante Identitiesis an account of life in the Asante village of Ade beba in West Africa during a century of rapid change, told as far as possible in the words of the villagers themselves. Asante is the most intensely studied of all sub-Saharan African cultures, and this book takes Asante and African historiography to new levels of reconstruction , analysis and understanding. This is the most closely focused historical study thus far achieved of African people engaging with issues of selfhood, identity and agency in an era that saw the continent fall under European domination.

Key Features

  • Major contribution to African studies in its historical depth and analytic sophistication
  • A book of wider interest to non-Africanist historians, social scientists and others
  • Considers issues of broad and current concern never before studied at this level

Asante Identities is a volume in the International African Library, a major monograph series from the International African Institute which complements its quarterly periodical Africa, the premier journal in the field of African Studies.

About the Author

Tom McCaskie is Reader in Asante History, Centre of West African Studies, University of Birmingham


A study at the cutting edge of historical methodology.. A wonderfully detailed portrait of life in nineteenth-century and twentieth-century Asante as it was experienced by villagers caught up in an era of rapid and chaotic developments..not only scholars of Asante, but all African social historians, would benefit from a close reading of Asante Identities.
It is difficult to put it down… The well-told stories, the wealth of information on subjects that are lamentably absent in most African historiography, and above all the successful attempt to put them in a meaningful context make it an outstanding piece of history. I know of no monograph on Africa that has combined analysis and empirical detail so succesfully. This book deserves to serve as a model for future Africanist historiography

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