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Leisure and Society in Colonial Brazzaville


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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. An African crossroads, a frontier post and a colonial town, c.1880-1915; 2. Taking hold of the town, c.1915-1960; 3. The emergence of leisure; 4. Football is king; 5. About the town; 6. Dressing well; 7. High society; 8. Conclusion.

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This book is the first comprehensive study of leisure in an African colonial city.


"This reviewer knows of no other book that conveys more powerfully the texture of urban life in colonial Africa...the author's vivid descriptions of leisure activities reveal in concrete terms the complex and often subtle ways that political power, religious belief, and consciousness of class and race shaped daily life." Charles Ambler, Historian "Richly documented from Congolese and European primary sources, as well as with copious field notes, Martin's book opens a fascinating window on Brazzaville's colonial-era social history...Martin has brilliantly demonstrated how important leisure-related activities were in the formation of national, ethnic, and racial consciousness in Congo." Choice "The paucity of secondary literature makes Phyllis M. Martin's study of leisure and sport in colonial Brazzaville a welcome contribution. The thorough, sophisticated character of this book is to be applauded for it sets leisure firmly within the larger picture of African history." William J. Baker, American Historical Review "Martin succeeds in capturing the heartbeat of an evolving urban culture... As a compelling and in places haunting recreation of the spice of life for the African Brazzavillois of the times her book is a model to be followed and a masterpiece which I suspect cannot be duplicated." Jan Vansina, The Int'l Jrnl of African Historical Studies

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