Paper $21.95 ISBN: 9781783608539 Published June 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781783608546 Published June 2017 For sale in North and South America only

African, American

From Tarzan to Dreams from My Father--Africa in the US Imagination

David Peterson del Mar

African, American

David Peterson del Mar

Distributed for Zed Books

352 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paper $21.95 ISBN: 9781783608539 Published June 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781783608546 Published June 2017 For sale in North and South America only
From the Edenic wilderness of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan novels to Marcus Garvey’s Back to Africa movement, Africa has gripped the imaginations of Americans, white or black, male or female. But why is this? In African, American, David Peterson del Mar uncovers the answer, exploring the ways in which American fantasies of Africa have evolved over time and how Africans themselves have played a role in subverting American attitudes toward the continent.
 
 In this remarkable, panoramic work, Peterson del Mar draws on a wide range of sources from literature, film, and music, in addition to accounts by missionaries, aid workers, and travel writers, incorporating pop culture references as well as historical perspectives from Ernest Hemingway to Richard Wright, from the African Queen to the Lion King, in order to trace our continued fascination with Africa. The book spans several decades, beginning in the postwar period and continuing to the present, addressing such topical events as American responses to the Ebola crisis and reactions to Obama’s Kenyan roots, and it compares white and African American views on Africa, looking at how they have changed in light of the increased prominence enjoyed by African writers in America, including Teju Cole and Chimamanda Adichie.
 
All together, African, American provides a fascinating deconstruction of the idea of Africa as it exists in the American mind.
 
Review Quotes
Catherine Mathers, Duke University

“Offers an intimate view of the intertwined relationship between Americans and Africans. Through a comprehensive yet sensitive analytical reading of fiction, autobiography and film, Del Mar shows just how much Africa has and continues to shape what it means to be American.”

Leslie James, University of Birmingham
“Demonstrates how Americans projected their own gender, class, and racial psychoses into their experiences and renderings of the African Continent. Del Mar seeks a critical approach not to what Africa is, but to how Americans have perceived it. With this comprehensive source, we might begin to understand the difference.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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