Book Review: Aspects of Colonial Tanzania History

Frank Edward


Since the inception of the Historical Association of Tanzania (HAT) in the late 1960s, a significant body of historical literature on Tanzania has been produced. An overview of the produced knowledge reveals that there has been an accentuation temporally on the pre-colonial and post-colonial periods, and thematically on
political, economic and social structures. A defining characteristic of almost all the literature published in that period is its theoretical and methodological subscription to grand narratives, particularly the nationalist and materialist narratives. Before its stasis in 2000, HAT had produced three big monographs, namely A History of Tanzania (1969), Tanzania under Colonial Rule (1981) and Zanzibar under Colonial Rule (1991). Its members
had also published many individual works in the form of articles, book chapters and books. Invariably, the works focused on specific themes and areas. John Iliffe’s A Modern History of Tanganyika (1979), which followed the approach of P. H. Clarke’s A Short History of Tanganyika: Mainland of Tanzania (1966), is the only individual publication to have transcended the conspicuously thematic and areal limitations of the ranks and file of HAT. Iliffe’s work explored in detail the pre-colonial and colonial aspects, largely covering the whole of Mainland


Colonial History

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