The World and a Very Small Place in Africa: A History of Globalization in Niumi, The Gambia, 4th editionBy Donald R. Wright(London: Routledge, 2018), 308 pp.

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Reviewed by: Dr. Paul Chiudza Banda, Assistant Professor of History, Tarleton State University.

This publication is in its fourth edition. Its purported main setting is a room dubbed Niumi, situated on the Atlantic shore, in The Gambia. The writer embraced the globalization method to narprice the historic trajectories that Niumi has actually undergone over the last six a century. Niumi covers an area of less than 400 square miles (pp.2-3).

The writer relied on various main and also second sources. These ranged from personal monitorings, oral interviews, archival documents, and various other publimelted ones (pp.3-5). Professor Wright supplies the case of Niumi’s long background, and that of The Gambia, by linking it via other global historic developments. He defines globalization as a procedure of the integration of the world’s people, of their boosting interactivity, and also of the occurring closer financial, social, and social relationships (p.7).

The writer agrees through and borrows from the functions of reputable scholars, including Immanuel Wellerstein, A.G. Hopkins, and the father and son duo of McNeill and McNeill. Wellerstein is provided for his “civilization units theory”; A.G. Hopkins, Globalization in World History (2002); and McNeill and also McNeill, The Human Web (2003). From Hopkins, the author embraced the demarcated 4 primary phases of the globalization process. The 4 phases are as follows: Archaic globalization (before 1600 CE); Proto-globalization (between 1600 and also 1800 CE); Modern globalization (from 1800 CE to the mid-20th century); and Post-colonial globalization (from the 1950s to the present). From the McNeills, he embraced the “webs of interactivity method,” to define the assorted forms of relations throughout the globe (pp.7-9).

In Part I, the author focuses on the initial phases of interactivity between the world of Niumi and Portuguese adventurers starting in 1446 CE. In that year, the adventurer Nuno Tristao reached The Gambia region. He and also his fellow sailors were met via hostility by the world of Niumi and also their leader, titled Mansa. A decade later on, an additional Portuguese adventurer, Diogo Gomes, was well-got by the Mansa, beginning a long historic process of Niumi’s international interactions (pp.13-19). These procedures were likewise extensions of Western European global development dating ago to the 9th century CE (pp.20-21). It encountered West Africa, which was a hub of Trans-Saharan profession and also the spcheck out of Islam (pp.25-28). Niumi initially gave salt from the Atlantic Ocean, in exchange for such items as cloth, iron, and gold (pp.33-75).

Part II concentrates on the proto-globalization phase, characterized by raising global interaction. For Niumi, this came alongside political and also economic transforms regarded the growth of the Atlantic economy. While few of her human being were offered into slaincredibly, Niumi skilled 3 significant alters, varying from environmental, financial, and religious. Ecologically, the limited quantities of rainautumn caused decreased food production; economically, there were boosted trade transactions in the Atlantic world; and religiously, tbelow was an raised spreview of Islam. The Mansa also amassed more power and wealth from the proceeds of trade (pp.79-100).

For the modern-day globalization phase, in Part III, the emphasis is on the period from 1815 onwards. Launched by the regime of Kolimanka Manneh (1815-1823), he boosted trade transactions via the Atlantic world. Following the abolition of the servant profession, Niumi shifted to “legitimate trade,” of hides, ivory, beeswax, peanuts, and gold. The proceeds were supplied to purchase European produced items, specifically textiles, family members tools, and tools (pp.124-131). By the end of the 1nine century, The Gambia dropped under British early american dominance, bring about Niumi’s link to broader worldwide developments. Mansa Sonko signed several treaties that brought his state under British ascendancy, pledging loyalty to the British Crvery own, in rerotate for annual payments of about £100. The Gambia was affected and also participated in such international procedures as the 2 World Wars, the Great Depression, and post-war colonial development planning, till her freedom in February 1965 (pp.149-155).

The last component, Part IV, covers the mid-1950s to the present, characterized by 3 major forces, namely technical advances, boosted globalization, and also climate change. Then tright here was the rise of the Cold War; the influence of the Bretton Woods establishments, and the international financial crisis of the late 1970s and also the 1980s. This witnessed the development of Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs), which for The Gambia bore very little bit fruits. Poverty levels remajor high, life expectancy is as low as 42 years, and also under 5 mortality rates pegged at 241 per thousand (pp.197-216). The authoritarian preeminence of Yahya Jammeh, a former army officer, from 1994-2017, did not assist matters. At first shunned by the West until he “relaxed” his grip on power, Jammeh oppressed Gambians and subjected them to rigged elections (pp.220-227). The nation, and also Niumi contained, have actually hence not benefited from the globalization procedure, through restricted access to education and learning, health and wellness, and transfer and also communication opportunities (pp.231-272).

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This is mostly a must-check out book, via significant contributions to global and also Afrideserve to background. Its transnational and also multi-thematic nature means it can be review by civilization via a vast selection of academic interests. On the other hand, the noteworthy shortfall is that to a big degree, the analysis of the globalization procedure has been top-dvery own, rather than one that adopts a bottom-up technique, with the world of Niumi being leading. That shortautumn aside, I recommfinish this book to those interested in world/global history, Afrideserve to background, and also the state in post-colonial Africa. This will be captivating to check out.