Sudanic Africa 3, 1992.

Books received

The Human Commodity. Perspectives on the Trans-Saharan Slave Trade. Edited by Elizabeth Savage. London: Frank Cass, 1992, 279 pp.

This is a collection of papers from a workshop on long-distance trade in slaves across the Sahara and the Black Sea in the nineteenth century, held in Bellagio, Italy, in 1988. The volume, concentrating on the southern of these two trade connections, both tries to redress the concentration on the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and to put slave trade in a wider historical and social context. Among the many topics covered in the volume are slaves and slave trade in the context of the Mediterranean (J.O. Hunwick and Daniel Schroeter), of salt trade (A. McDougall), women in Hausaland (B.B. Mack), the jihad (A. Mahadi), military slavery in the Sudan (G. Prunier and D.H. Johnson) as well as surveys of the trade in west and east (R.A. Austen, M. Klein, J. Wright and R.O. Collins). A 23-page bibliography by J.G. Miller rounds off the volume.

Les pays du Tchad dans la tourmente, 1880-1903 by Jean-Claude Zeltner. Paris: Harmattan, 1988, 285 pp.

Père Zeltner in this survey, describes the Lake Chad-Waday region in last two decades of the last century as the prey of three great regional powers: The Mahdi of Sudan, the Sanusiyya of the north, and the adventurer Rabih b. Fadl Allah. For this, he has utilized two new sets of sources, the French dispatches from the region, and the Sanusi correspondence, recently published by Jean Louis Triaud (see SAJHS, 1, 100-1). The study covers the period from the first Sanusi contacts to the region, until the French troops arrived and defeated the indigenous forces.


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