Writing a book is a team effort. Because much of this book was written on my laptop in the living room of our one-bedroom flat, one person, in particular, has shared in its emotional upswings and downswings. Helanya Fourie continues to be a constant reminder that companionship makes the long walk worth it; this book would never have been written without her support.
Several (former) students provided valuable input. Amy Rommelspacher was the first to read the full manuscript. Kara Dimitruk, Kate Ekama, Roy Havemann, Abel Gwaindepi, Young-ook Jang, Edward Kerby, Calumet Links, Igor Martins, Nobungcwele Mbem, Farai Nyika and Omphile Ramela read individual chapters and gave useful feedback. Jonathan Jayes made magic with graphs. Bokang Mpeta taught Economics 281 for several years with me. I’ve relied a lot on her insights over the years. I’ve also relied much on members of and visitors to the Laboratory for the Economics of Africa’s Past (LEAP), the research unit I coordinate at Stellenbosch University. The reader is more than welcome to visit www.leapstellenbosch.org.za for information about our latest research in African economic history. Finally, I thank my colleagues in the departments of Economics and History. They have provided a nurturing environment for economic history research to flourish.
Students are just as good as the freedom they are afforded by their teachers. My own teachers, many of whom are now colleagues, are too numerous to name here. I am deeply indebted to the many guides who have crossed my path and shaped my own scholarly journey.