Described as "the New York Review of Books for history," Historically Speaking has emerged as one of the most distinctive historical publications in recent years, actively seeking out contributions from a pantheon of leading voices in historical discourse. This collection of articles and forums by prominent historians explores the relationship of Africa to world history, maps the current state of the burgeoning field of Atlantic history, and debates the accuracy of Olaudah Equiano's seminal narrative. The standard approach of world historians often compresses the African past into interpretive frameworks that leave Africans without a history of their own. Joseph C. Miller makes the case here for an alternative approach, a multicentric world history that gives voice to the various ways Africans experienced the past, and an impressive array of Africanist and world historians respond. The volume also assesses the state of the field of Atlantic history and includes a spirited forum on Vincent Carretta's provocative thesis that Olaudah Equiano, author of the most important account available of the horrific Middle Passage, was actually born in South Carolina and not Africa.
Designed to serve as a companion text for courses in African, Atlantic, and world history, this volume will also appeal to lay readers interested in contemporary approaches to these topics.
Donald A. Yerxa is assistant director of the Historical Society and editor of its bulletin, Historically Speaking. A professor of history at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts, Yerxa is the author of The Burning of Falmouth, 1775 and Admirals and Empire: The United States Navy and the Caribbean, 1898–1945 and coauthor of Species of Origins: America's Search for a Creation Story. His articles and interviews have appeared in a variety of publications, including the European Review, Military Affairs, the Naval War College Review, Mariner's Mirror, Fides et Historia, Books & Culture, Science & Spirit, and Historically Speaking.