Africa’s Discovery of Europe

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This groundbreaking book examines the full range of African-European encounters from an African perspective rather than from the customary European one. By featuring vivid life stories of individual Africans and drawing upon their many recorded sentiments, author David Northrup presents African perspectives that persuasively challenge stereotypes about African-European relations as they unfolded in Africa, Europe, and the Atlantic world between 1450 and 1850.

Africa's Discovery of Europe features thematically organized chapters that explore first impressions, religion and politics, commerce and culture, imported goods and technology, the Middle Passage, and Africans in Europe. In addition, Northrup offers a thoughtful examination of Africans' relations–intellectual, commercial, cultural, and sexual–with Europeans, tracing how the patterns of behavior that emerged from these encounters shaped pre-colonial Africa. The book concludes with an examination of the roles of race, class, and culture in early modern times, pointing out which themes in Africa's continuing discovery of Europe after 1850 were similar to earlier patterns, and why other themes were different. Brief, inexpensive, and accessible, the third edition of Africa's Discovery of Europe offers an insightful look at the tumultuous and enduring relations between these two continents.