This book begins by looking at the peoples of Africa at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and goes on to study the commercial and ideological penetration of Africa by the outside world. The partition and colonisation of Africa by the European powers are discussed, and there is comprehensive discussion of the colonial rule between 1885 and 1960. The last third of the book is concerned with the history of independent Africa during the last years of the twentieth century. The new edition covers events up to the middle of 2003, and takes account of the fresh perspectives brought about by the end of the Cold War and the new global situation following the events of September 11, 2001. It is also concerned with the demographic trends, with the ravages of diseases such as AIDS and malaria, and with the conflicts waged by warlords.