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The Fruits of Freedom in British Togoland
Literacy, Politics and Nationalism, 1914–2014

$32.99 (C)

Part of African Studies

  • Date Published: November 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107427051

$ 32.99 (C)
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  • The end of World War I saw the former German protectorate of Togoland split into British- and French- administered territories, and by the late 1940s, a political movement known as Ablɔɖe (meaning 'freedom' in the Ewe language) called for the reunification of British and French Togoland into an independent multiethnic state. Despite its efforts, the United Nations trust territory of British Togoland was ultimately merged with the Gold Coast to become part of independent Ghana; three years later French Togoland achieved a separate independence as Togo. Based on interviews with former political activists and their families, access to private papers, and a collection of oral and written propaganda, this book examines the history behind the failed project of Togoland reunification. Kate Skinner challenges the marginalization of the Togoland question from popular and academic analyses of post-colonial politics and explores present-day ramifications of the contingencies of decolonization.

    • Contains extensive oral history work with the 'Independence generation'
    • Includes interpretation of political propaganda, in English and in the local African language (Ewe)
    • Analyzes the contingencies of decolonization in the Ghana-Togo border area and traces their ramifications up to the present day
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Kate Skinner has written an outstanding book. It is an elegant, powerful study of an unrealised vision of the future that gripped Togoland during the tumult of decolonisation and its lasting significance."
    Daniel Branch, University of Warwick

    "Beautifully written and engagingly argued, The Fruits of Freedom in British Togoland is a brilliant, articulate new model for political history bridging the colonial/post-colonial divide. Kate Skinner provides an original, innovative and creative solution to many of the perils associated with post-colonial history, particularly in countries fraught with violence and political upheaval."
    Benjamin N. Lawrance, The Hon. Barber B. Conable, Jr Endowed Chair in International Studies, Rochester Institute of Technology, New York

    "A meticulous and deeply researched study which sheds important new light on the complex relations between regional, ethnic and national identities in Africa, and the role of local intellectuals in shaping them."
    J. D. Y. Peel, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, University of London

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107427051
    • dimensions: 230 x 155 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus. 3 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Ablɔɖe: African political history, from below and from within
    2. Godly teachers and clever rascals: Southern British Togoland's intelligentsia
    3. Education, citizenship and the 'sacred trust'
    4. Revealing stepfather's secrets: making and losing the case for Togoland reunification
    5. Activists in exile: political possibility in the postcolony
    6. 'No one will hear your name again': the terms of the union
    7. Of elephants and umbrellas: Ablɔɖe in Ghana's political traditions.

  • Author

    Kate Skinner, University of Birmingham
    Kate Skinner is a Lecturer in the History of Africa and its Diasporas at the University of Birmingham.

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