Book Reviews

The Book Review Editors of the Journal of West African History welcome inquiries from scholars interested in reviewing a title from the list below. In order to simultaneously protect the reviewer, while ensuring that he or she critically engage with the text, we require that reviewers have PhDs. Furthermore, in the interest of preserving JWAH’s editorial independence we cannot accept unsolicited reviews, or reviews by scholars with personal connections to a given author. While we may suggest changes, or edit reviews for clarity and language, we will not send them out for external review or alter the content of the assessments. However, we reserve the right to decline to publish a review. Please feel free to contact our book review editors with any questions regarding our editorial policy (see below for contact information).

The Editors of JWAH ask that reviews be guided by a spirit of generosity and curiosity, but not shy away from critique. Reviews should engage the interpretation, meaning, or historiographical importance of an author’s argument for a wider scholarly audience. To reach publication in JWAH, it is imperative that reviews be clearly written and cogently presented. We require book reviewers to use the Chicago Manual of Style footnote citation. The text should not exceed 1000 words, and we ask that reviews be submitted within six weeks of receipt of the book.

Completed reviews should be submitted through JWAH’s online system.

If you are interested in writing a book review, please send an email to Dr. Ndubueze Mbah ( or Dr. Mark Deets (, the JWAH book review editors.

The resources below offer a variety of different approaches to writing academic book reviews, and may serve as useful sources of inspiration:

Bruce Mazlish, “The Art of Reviewing,” Perspectives on History, the American Historical Association

Casey Brienza, “Writing Academic Book Reviews,” Inside Higher Ed

Lynn Worsham, “The Endangered Scholarly Book Review,” Chronicle of Higher Education

Karen Kelsky, “How to Write an Honest but Collegial Book Review,” ChronicleVitae

Books for Review

In English

Liberated Africans and the Abolition of the Slave Trade, 1807-1896 edited by Richard Anderson and Henry B. Lovejoy (2020) (University of Rochester Press, 978-1-58046-969-2)

In Hip Hop Time: Music, Memory, and Social Change in Urban Senegal by Catherine Appert (2018) (Oxford, 978-0-1909-1349-6)

African Miracle, African Mirage: Transnational Politics and the Paradox of Modernization in Ivory Coast by Abou B. Bamba (2016) (Ohio University Press, 978-0-8214-2239-7)

Singing Yoruba Christianity: Music, Media, and Morality by Vicki L. Brennan (2018) (Indiana University Press, 78-0-2530-3209-6)

Africans in Exile: Mobility, Law, and Identity edited by Nathan Riley Carpenter and Benjamin N. Lawrance (2018) (Indiana University Press, 978-0-253-03808-1)

Countless Blessings: A History of Childbirth and Reproduction in the Sahel by Barbara Cooper (2019) (Indiana University Press, 978-0-253-04201-9)

A Primer for Teaching African History: Ten Design Principles by Trevor R. Getz (2018) (Duke University Press,  978-0-8223-6982-0)

Colonial Suspects: Suspicion, Imperial Rule, and Colonial Society in Interwar French West Africa by Kathleen Keller (2018) (University of Nebraska Press, 978-1-4962-0620-6)

Market Encounters: Consumer Cultures in Twentieth-Century Ghana by Bianca Murillo (2017) (Ohio University Press, 978-0-8214-2289-2)

Culture, Precepts, and Social Change in Southeastern Nigeria: Understanding the Igbo edited by Apollos O. Nwauwa and Ogechi E. Anyanwu (2020) (Lexington Books, 978-1-4985-8968-0)

Entrepreneurship in Africa: A Historical Approach, ed. Moses Ochonu (2018) (Indiana University Press, 978-0-2530-3438-0)

Moral Economies of Corruption: State Formation and Political Culture in Nigeria by Steven Pierce (2016) (Duke University Press, 978-0-8223-6091-9)

Converging on Cannibals: Terrors of Slaving in Atlantic Africa, 1509-1670 by Jared Staller (2019) (Ohio University Press, 978-0-8214-2353-0)

The Second Colonial Occupation: Development Planning, Agriculture, and the Legacies of British Rule in Nigeria by Bekeh Utietiang Ukelina (2017) (Lexington Books, 978-1-4985-2924-2)

Religion and The Making of Nigeria by Olufemi Vaughan (2016) Duke University Press, 978-0-8223-6227-2)

Masquerading Politics: Kinship, Gender, and Ethnicity in a Yoruba Town​ by John Thabiti Willis (2017) (Indiana University Press, 978-0-2530-3146-4)

In French

Mieux vaut tard que jamais : Sur les traces de six tirailleurs guinéens fusillés à Clamecy en juin 1940 by Daniel Couriol (2020) (L’Harmattan, 978-2-343-20200-6)

Saint-Louis du Sénégal : Patrimoine de l’humanité ou patrimoine de la colonisation ? by Mouhamedoune Abdoulaye Fall (2020) (L’Harmattan, 978-2-343-19556-8)

Cameroun : regards croisés sur les Nineties by Williams Pokam Kamdem, Dénis Christian Fouelefack Tsamo, and Vivien Meli Meli (2020) (L’Harmattan, 978-2-343-19421-9)

Genèse de l’Etat et du droit au Cameroun (1472-1961): Les racines d’une Nation en construction by Blaise Alfred Ngando (2020) (L’Harmattan, 978-2-343-19563-6)

Résister à la conquête française : Pays du golfe de Guinée et océan Indien, XIXe Siècle by Christian Roche (2020) (L’Harmattan, 978-2-343-19708-1)

Elhadj Mahmoudou Bâ Fondateur d’Al-Falah : Marabout et combattant contre l’ignorance et l’analphabétisme by Mamadou Samba Sy (2020) (L’Harmattan, 978-2-343-19453-0)

Nicolas Grunitzky (1913-1969) : Le nationaliste trop prodent ou l’homme de la France ? by Koffi Nutefé Tsigbe and Komlan Kouzan (2020) (L’Harmattan, 978-2-343-19427-1)

For more information about JWAH permissions, download the book review publishing agreement below:

If you would like to submit a book review to JWAH, you may do so at the below link: