In a vast and all-embracing study of Africa, from the origins of mankind to the AIDS epidemic, John Iliffe refocuses its history on the peopling of an environmentally hostile continent. Africans have been pioneers struggling against disease and nature, and their social, economic and political institutions have been designed to ensure their survival. In the context of medical progress and other twentieth-century innovations, however, the same institutions have bred the most rapid population growth the world has ever seen. Africans: The History of a Continent is thus a single story binding living Africans to their earliest human ancestors.

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