In 1754, Charles de Raymond, chevalier of the Royal and Military Order of Saint Louis and a captain in the Troupes de la Marine wrote a bold, candid, and revealing expose; on the French colonial posts and settlements of New France. On the Eve of the Conquest, more than an annotated translation, includes a discussion on the historical background of the start of the French and Indian War, as well as a concise biography of Raymond and Michel Le Courtois de Surlaville, the army colonel at the French court to whom the report was sent. The events surrounding Raymond's controversial year as commandant of the post (now Fort Wayne, Indiana) in 1749-50, his disputed recall by Governor General Jacques-Pierre de Taffanel de La Jonquier, and the subsequent friction between La Jonquiere's successor, Ange de Menneville Duqesne, and Raymond are presented in detail and illustrated by translations of their correspondence.
In 1988, the Chicago public school system decentralized, granting parents and communities significant resources and authority to reform their schools in dramatic ways. To track the effects of this bold experiment, the authors of Organizing Schools for Improvement collected a wealth of data on elementary schools in Chicago. Over a seven-year period they identified one hundred elementary schools that had substantially improved—and one hundred that had not. What did the successful schools do to accelerate student learning?
The authors of this illuminating book identify a comprehensive set of practices and conditions that were key factors for improvement, including school leadership, the professional capacity of the faculty and staff, and a student-centered learning climate. In addition, they analyze the impact of social dynamics, including crime, critically examining the inextricable link between schools and their communities. Putting their data onto a more human scale, they also chronicle the stories of two neighboring schools with very different trajectories. The lessons gleaned from this groundbreaking study will be invaluable for anyone involved with urban education.
In 1879, the British colony of Natal invaded the neighboring Zulu kingdom. Large numbers of Natal Africans fought with the British against the Zulus, enabling the British to claim victory and, ultimately, to annex the Zulu kingdom. Less than thirty years later, in 1906, many of those same Natal Africans, and their descendants, rebelled against the British in the name of the Zulu king. In The Other Zulus, a thorough history of Zulu ethnicity during the colonial period, Michael R. Mahoney shows that the lower classes of Natal, rather than its elites, initiated the transformation in ethnic self-identification, and they did so for multiple reasons. The resentment that Natal Africans felt toward the Zulu king diminished as his power was curtailed by the British. The most negative consequences of colonialism may have taken several decades to affect the daily lives of most Africans. Natal Africans are likely to have experienced the oppression of British rule more immediately and intensely in 1906 than they had in 1879. Meanwhile, labor migration to the gold mines of Johannesburg politicized the young men of Natal. Mahoney's fine-grained local history shows that these young migrants constructed and claimed a new Zulu identity, both to challenge the patriarchal authority of African chiefs and to fight colonial rule.
In Our New Husbands Are Here, Emily Lynn Osborn investigates a central puzzle of power and politics in West African history: Why do women figure frequently in the political narratives of the precolonial period, and then vanish altogether with colonization? Osborn addresses this question by exploring the relationship of the household to the state. By analyzing the history of statecraft in the interior savannas of West Africa (in present-day Guinea-Conakry), Osborn shows that the household, and women within it, played a critical role in the pacifist Islamic state of Kankan-Baté, enabling it to endure the predations of the transatlantic slave trade and become a major trading center in the nineteenth century. But French colonization introduced a radical new method of statecraft to the region, one that separated the household from the state and depoliticized women’s domestic roles. This book will be of interest to scholars of politics, gender, the household, slavery, and Islam in African history.