Nachituti’s Gift challenges conventional theories of economic development with a compelling comparative case study of inland fisheries in Zambia and Congo from pre- to postcolonial times. Neoclassical development models conjure a simple, abstract progression from wealth held in people to money or commodities; instead, Gordon argues, primary social networks and oral charters like “Nachituti’s Gift” remained decisive long after the rise of intensive trade and market activities. Interweaving oral traditions, songs, and interviews as well as extensive archival research, Gordon’s lively tale is at once a subtle analysis of economic and social transformations, an insightful exercise in environmental history, and a revealing study of comparative politics.
Honorable Mention, Melville J. Herskovits Award, African Studies Association
“A powerful portrayal of the complexity, fluidity, and subtlety of Lake Mweru fishers’ production strategies . . . . Natchituti’s Gift adds nuance and evidence to some of the most important and sophisticated conversations going on in African studies today.”—Kirk Arden Hoppe, International Journal of African Historical Studies
“A lively and intelligent book, which offers a solid contribution to ongoing debates about the interplay of the politics of environment, history and economy.”—Joost Fontein, Africa
“Well researched and referenced . . . . [Natchituti’s Gift] will be of interest to those in a wide variety of disciplines including anthropology, African Studies, history, geography, and environmental studies.”—Heidi G. Frontani, H-SAfrica
Utopian thinking as to how people might live together more harmoniously—the dream of the perfect city, the New Jerusalem—has been revived in different forms and at different times, from early medieval monasteries to contemporary alternative communities.
In 1902, Ebenezer Howard, renowned social reformer and founder of the garden movement, published Garden Cities of To-Morrow, a book originally to be called New Jerusalem and a work that became one of the most influential town planning documents of the twentieth century.
In New Jerusalem: The Good City and the Good Society, Ken Worpole reveals that utopian and visionary thinking, especially in relation to new forms of settlement and livelihood, has not gone away, even if it has gone underground.
With an unprecedented growth in the population of older people, along with increasing cultural and demographic change elsewhere in society, there is renewed interest in more convivial forms of urban design, as well as shared living. This interest draws on a long history of elective communities, including those influenced by the thought and works of Emanuel Swedenborg—a fascinating history with much to offer the architects and policymakers of today.