Past works have reinforced misconceptions about Africa, from its oral traditions and languages to its resistance to colonial powers. Other books have treated African achievements as a parade of honorable mentions and novelties. This book is different—refreshingly different. It tells the stories behind the milestones and provides insights into how great Africans thought, and how they passed along what they learned.
Provocative and entertaining, The Gifts of Africa at last gives the continent its due, and it should change the way we learn about the interactions of cultures and how we teach the history of the world.
Jeff Pearce has traveled far to get his unusual and compelling stories. For his popular work of history, Prevail, he tracked down witnesses and survivors of the heroic struggle in Ethiopia against Fascist Italy. For his popular biography of adventurer Henry Layard, Winged Bull, he traveled across the Middle East and interviewed a Kurdish army commander near Mosul. He’s investigated the dangerous realm of street gangs, and he’s taught journalism in Myanmar. He has written novels, books on history and current affairs, and stage plays that have been performed in Toronto and Los Angeles.