Een van die indrukwekkendste boeke wat ek nog gelees het
‘In a brilliant tour de force, Johan Fourie turns history on its head and tells the story of the world economy from the eyes/perspective of Africa. A must read.’
‘Our Long Walk to Economic Freedom is an ambitious and refreshingly accessible jaunt through the economic history of the world, told from a South African perspective.’
Daar is soveel in dié boek wat belangrik, interessant of bloot nuttig is. En dit lees lekker.
‘Johan Fourie’s commitment to understanding the historical roots of prosperity and ensuring its wide distribution in the future makes this one of the most humane economic histories I have read.’
‘Johan Fourie takes us on an ingenious and entertaining journey through history that teaches us that you don’t win the economic World Cup by appointing an expensive coach but by giving every kid a soccer ball.’
‘A wonderful ride through African economic history. Everyone will enjoy this engaging, informative and surprising book.’
‘As the world goes through one of the worst pandemics in history, it is refreshing that such an optimistic book has been written.’
‘This is the first book to bring Africa in from the margins and place it centrally into the big narratives of world economic history. The subject will never be the same again.’
This is the book for all those who are willing to learn from humanity’s long history to achieve a world in which more and more people can leave the deep poverty of the past behind.
Fourie is leading a renaissance of African economic history, and Our Long Walk to Economic Freedom gives every interested person a way to access his scholarship and that of other key scholars. It is destined to become a must-read in higher ed syllabi.
Africa, the Forgotten Continent, comes into its own in Fourie’s engaging romp through human history. Good: our ancestors, after all, were all Africans, though most of us are less varied than people in our homeland on the veldt. The future of Africa is therefore bright. Fourie’s brilliant account shows why.
In three dozen short but wide-ranging chapters, Johan Fourie demonstrates that recent research in economic history can be both enlightening and fun.
‘Presented in easily accessible language and a pleasant style, this book is a must read for anyone who wishes to understand the forces, processes and trends which shaped the trajectory of the lived human experience in the past 100 00 years. It is highly recommended for both the non-professional reader and undergraduate students in economics and the humanities.’
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How did Einstein help create Eskom? Why can an Indonesian volcano explain the Great Trek? What do King Zwelithini and Charlemagne have in common?
These are some of the questions Johan Fourie explores in this entertaining, accessible economic history spanning everything from the human migration out of Africa 100 000 years ago to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our Long Walk to Economic Freedom is an engaging guide to complex debates about the roots and reasons for prosperity, the march of opportunity versus the crushing boot of exploitation, and why the builders of societies – rather than the burglars – ultimately win out.
Join the author on this enriching journey through an African-centred history and the story of our long walk towards a brighter future.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Who are the architects of Wakanda?
African economic historians and the stories we tell;
- What happened at Blombos in 70,000 BCE?
The Out-of-Africa hypothesis and the peopling of the world;
- Why are the Danes so individualistic?
The Neolithic Revolution and the rise of civilisations;
- Why does isiXhosa have clicks?
The Bantu migration;
- How did Joseph and his eleven brothers solve the three economic problems?
Custom and command in the ancient world;
- What do Charlemagne and King Zwelithini have in common?
- Why do Indians have dowry and Africans lobola?
Precolonial African economic systems;
- Who was the richest man ever to live?
The spread of Islam in Africa and the Crusades;
- How did 168 Spanish conquistadores capture an empire?
Europeans in the New World;
- Why was a giraffe the perfect gift for the Chinese emperor?
The Indian Ocean trade and European imperialism;
- Who visited Gorée island on 27 June 2013?
The Atlantic slave trade and Africa’s long-run development;
- What is an incunabulum?
Book printing and the Reformation;
- Who was Autshumao’s niece?
The arrival of Europeans in South Africa and the demise of the Khoesan;
- What did Thomson, Watson & Co. purchase?
The emancipation of the enslaved;
Johan Fourie is Professor of Economics at Stellenbosch University. He is a founding member of the African Economic History Network and president of the Economic History Society of Southern Africa. He has published award-winning peer-reviewed articles and is a regular columnist for local newspapers. His passion is to equip the next generation of African scholars with the skills to benefit from the data revolution. Find more of his work at johanfourie.com.
To schedule Johan for a book talk, seminar or interview, please contact him here.
MEDIA AND REVIEWS
Skatryk, afrikaans edition
Cambridge University Press edition
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.