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The United States and West Africa


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Over the last several decades, historians have conducted extensive research into contact between the United States and West Africa during the era of the transatlantic trade. Yet we still understand relatively little about more recent relations between the two areas. This multidisciplinary volume presents the most comprehensive analysis of the U.S.-West African relationship to date, filling a significant gap in the literature by examining the social, cultural, political, and economic bonds that have, in recent years, drawn these two world regions into increasingly closer contact.

Beginning with examinations of factors that linked the nations during European colonial rule of Africa, and spanning to discussions of U.S. foreign policy with regard to West Africa from the Cold War through the end of the twentieth century and beyond, these essays constitute the first volume devoted to interrogating the complex relationship -- both historic and contemporary -- between the United States and West Africa.

Contributors: Abdul Karim Bangura, Karen B. Bell, Peter A. Dumbuya, Kwame Essien, Andrew I. E. Ewoh, Toyin Falola, Osman Gbla, John Wess Grant, Stephen A. Harmon, Harold R. Harris, Olawale Ismail, Alusine Jalloh, Fred L. Johnson III, Stephen Kandeh, Ibrahim Kargbo, Bayo Lawal, Ayodeji Olukoju, Adebayo Oyebade, Christopher Ruane, Anita Spring, Ibrahim Sundiata, Hakeem Ibikunle Tijani, Ken Vincent, and Amanda Warnock.

Alusine Jalloh is associate professor of history and founding director of The Africa Program at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Toyin Falola is the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities and University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin.


As with any good collection, this one makes a strong contribution on its own merits, but also should serve to push forward the literature by inspiring future research. --CHOICE

A virtual treasure trove of scholarship on one of Africa's most critical sub-regions, The United States and West Africa is long overdue. The authors of these twenty-two essays examine various aspects of U.S.-West African interactions in exquisite detail, offering analyses that are both empirically rich and theoretically informed. Perhaps most importantly, the volume provides the opportunity to hear both African and non-African voices on the relationship in one well-integrated collection. Scholars from a range of disciplines, foreign policy practitioners and students alike, will find the book an essential -- and thought-provoking -- read. --Scott Taylor, director, African Studies Program, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

The United States and West Africa is a tour de force! In this sophisticated collection, Jalloh, Falola, and contributors break new ground, providing fresh, meticulously researched analyses of the myriad factors that have influenced foreign policy and relationships between the United States and West Africa. A must-read for anyone seriously interested in understanding these complex relations in the changing contours of the global economy. --Bessie House-Soremekun, professor of political science and African American and African Diaspora studies, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis


First Published: 01 Nov 2008
13 Digit ISBN: 9781580463089
3 black and white, 1 line drawing illustrations
Pages: 490
Size: 9 x 6
Binding: Paperback
Imprint: University of Rochester Press
BIC Class: GTB

Details updated on 05 Oct 2015


  • 1  Introduction
  • 2  West Africa and the United States in Historical Perspective
  • 3  The U.S. Consulate and the Promotion of Trade in Sierra Leone, 1850-80
  • 4  Stranded Families: Free Colored Responses to Liberian Colonization and the Formation of Black Families in Nineteenth-Century Richmond, Virginia
  • 5  The Garvey Aftermath: The Fall, Rise, and Fall
  • 6  Economic Relations between Nigeria and the United States in the Era of British Colonial Rule, ca. 1900-1950
  • 7  The United States' Economic and Political Activities in Colonial West Afric a
  • 8  Developing a "Sense of Community": U.S. Cultural Diplomacy and the Place of Africa during the Early Cold War Period, 1953-64
  • 9  African Americans in Ghana and Their Contributions to "Nation Building" sin since 1985
  • 10  Perspectives on Ghanaians and African Americans
  • 11  The Chasm Is Wide: Unspoken Antagonisms between African Americans and West Africans
  • 12  Double Consciousness and the Home-Coming of African Americans: Building Cul tural Bridges in West Africa
  • 13  Sierra Leoneans in America and Homeland Politics
  • 14  The United States and West Africa: The Institutionalization of Foreign Rela Relations in an Age of Ideological Ferment
  • 15  U.S. Foreign Policy toward West Africa: Democracy, Economic Development, an d Security
  • 16  U.S. Economic Assistance to West Africa
  • 17  The West African Enterprise Network: Business Globalists, Interregional Tra de, and U.S. Interventions
  • 18  Poverty Alleviation in Sierra Leone and the Role of U.S. Foreign Aid: An In stitutional Trap Analysis
  • 19  Post-Cold War U.S. Foreign Policy toward Liberia and Sierra Leone
  • 20  The United States and Security Management in West Africa: A Case for Cooper rative Intervention
  • 21  Radical Islam in the Sahel: Implications for U.S. Policy and Regional Stabi lity
  • 22  Undoing Oil's Curse? An Examination of the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline Project
  • 23  U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda, 2005-9: Why West Africa Barely Features

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