Njinga of Angola

Harvard University Press
Free sample

One of history’s most multifaceted rulers but little known in the West, Queen Njinga rivaled Elizabeth I and Catherine the Great in political cunning and military prowess. Today, she is revered in Angola as a heroine and honored in folk religions. Her complex legacy forms a crucial part of the collective memory of the Afro-Atlantic world.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Harvard University Press
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Published on
Feb 27, 2017
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780674979062
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional / General
Biography & Autobiography / Royalty
Biography & Autobiography / Women
History / Africa / South / General
History / Modern / 17th Century
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A new account of Herman Melville and the writing of Moby-Dick, written by a Pulitzer  Prize finalist in Biography and based on fresh archival research, which reveals that the anarchic spirit animating Melville’s canonical work was inspired by his great love affair with a shockingly unconventional married woman.

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In January 1991, when civil war came to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, two-thirds of the city’s population fled. Among them was eight-year-old Asad Abdullahi. His mother murdered by a militia, his father somewhere in hiding, he was swept alone into the great wartime migration that scattered the Somali people throughout sub-Saharan Africa and the world.

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Buoyed by success in work and in love, Asad put twelve hundred dollars in his pocket and made his way down the length of the African continent to Johannesburg, South Africa, whose streets he believed to be lined with gold. And so began a shocking adventure in a country richer and more violent than he could possibly have imagined.

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In a riveting, groundbreaking narrative, Russell Shorto tells the story of New Netherland, the Dutch colony which pre-dated the Pilgrims and established ideals of tolerance and individual rights that shaped American history. 

"Astonishing . . . A book that will permanently alter the way we regard our collective past." --The New York Times

When the British wrested New Amsterdam from the Dutch in 1664, the truth about its thriving, polyglot society began to disappear into myths about an island purchased for 24 dollars and a cartoonish peg-legged governor. But the story of the Dutch colony of New Netherland was merely lost, not destroyed: 12,000 pages of its records–recently declared a national treasure–are now being translated. Russell Shorto draws on this remarkable archive in The Island at the Center of the World, which has been hailed by The New York Times as “a book that will permanently alter the way we regard our collective past.”

The Dutch colony pre-dated the “original” thirteen colonies, yet it seems strikingly familiar. Its capital was cosmopolitan and multi-ethnic, and its citizens valued free trade, individual rights, and religious freedom. Their champion was a progressive, young lawyer named Adriaen van der Donck, who emerges in these pages as a forgotten American patriot and whose political vision brought him into conflict with Peter Stuyvesant, the autocratic director of the Dutch colony. The struggle between these two strong-willed men laid the foundation for New York City and helped shape American culture. The Island at the Center of the World uncovers a lost world and offers a surprising new perspective on our own.
“This is the most authoritative and highly literate account of these pernicious people that I have ever read.”—Patrick O'Brian

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Praise for Under the Black Flag

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Praise for The Lost Painting

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From gunpowder technology, the discovery of the new world, movable type printing, perspective painting, and the telescope to the practice of conducting experiments, the laws of nature, and the concept of the fact, Wotton shows how these discoveries codified into a social construct and a system of knowledge. Ultimately, he makes clear the link between scientific discovery and the rise of industrialization—and the birth of the modern world we know.

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