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Port Cities and Intruders: The Swahili Coast, India, and Portugal in the Early Modern Era (review)

Port Cities and Intruders: The Swahili Coast, India, and Portugal in the Early Modern Era (review) Port Cities and Intruders: The Swahili Coast, India, and Portugal in the Early Modern Era. By michael n. pearson. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. Pp. x + 202. $35.95 (cloth). Literature on the eastern African coastal people known as Swahili, who for many centuries have formed a society of middlemen in the long-distance commerce between Africa and the northern and eastern littorals of the Indian Ocean, is in general somewhat parochial. The literature on their counterpart middlemen in Asia is much larger: it is written mainly by economic historians who place Indian maritime trade within the wider context of long-standing Asian-European com- Book Reviews merce by land and sea, but they ignore eastern Africa as a peripheral area of minor importance. Michael Pearson, one of the more interesting writers on the Indian side, has now transferred his interest to Africa and perceived it to be an integral part of the trade networks of the Indian Ocean (for which he prefers the name "Afrasiatic Sea"). His book is scholarly and enlightening, free of jargon, and presents new understanding based on his long experience of Indian trading history. The author has not himself done "fieldwork" among the Swahili, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of World History University of Hawai'I Press

Port Cities and Intruders: The Swahili Coast, India, and Portugal in the Early Modern Era (review)

Journal of World History , Volume 11 (1) – Mar 1, 2000

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 by University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-8050
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Abstract

Port Cities and Intruders: The Swahili Coast, India, and Portugal in the Early Modern Era. By michael n. pearson. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. Pp. x + 202. $35.95 (cloth). Literature on the eastern African coastal people known as Swahili, who for many centuries have formed a society of middlemen in the long-distance commerce between Africa and the northern and eastern littorals of the Indian Ocean, is in general somewhat parochial. The literature on their counterpart middlemen in Asia is much larger: it is written mainly by economic historians who place Indian maritime trade within the wider context of long-standing Asian-European com- Book Reviews merce by land and sea, but they ignore eastern Africa as a peripheral area of minor importance. Michael Pearson, one of the more interesting writers on the Indian side, has now transferred his interest to Africa and perceived it to be an integral part of the trade networks of the Indian Ocean (for which he prefers the name "Afrasiatic Sea"). His book is scholarly and enlightening, free of jargon, and presents new understanding based on his long experience of Indian trading history. The author has not himself done "fieldwork" among the Swahili,

Journal

Journal of World HistoryUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Mar 1, 2000

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