February 15, 2008

Book Review - Global Shadows

Global Shadows: Africa in the Neoliberal World Order
James Ferguson
JZ 1773 .F47 2006

In this book, anthropologist Ferguson challenges previously accepted notions of Africa as a place of failure and insurmountable problems. Rather than focus on local places, as many anthropologists and African scholars tend to do, Ferguson looks at the continent as a whole and its attempts to participate in the modern world. Individual chapters are dedicated to examinations of independence and national sovreignty, economics, and political power. Looking at a broad trend, Ferguson makes a case study of "African Renaissance," interestingly using modern technology as its carrier. Additional chapters also examine the ways in which African's strive to participate in the modern world, and contrast that with the rediscovery of their history and the roots of their own development. This book takes an unusual approach in the study of Africa and is a worthwhile read for anyone seeking to understand the effects of modernization and globalization on that continent.