New book by Joann McGregor: Crossing the Zambezi

Crossing the Zambezi
The Politics of Landscape on a Central African Frontier
by Joann McGregor

‘Crossing the Zambezi is a magnificent study of how a great river can structure the lives of the people who live along it. ...Europeans perceived the Zambezi as a boundary rather than a uniting force, and McGregor traces out the consequences of that boundary-making as people became defined as citizens of different countries... This is a major contribution both to ethnography and the history of the region. A book for ecologists, anthropologists, political geographers, historians and Africanists.’
– Elizabeth Colson, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley

This book is a history of claims to the Zambezi, focussed on the stretch of the river extending  from the Victoria Falls downstream into Lake Kariba which today constitutes the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is a story of 150 years of conflict over the changing landscape of the river, in which the tension between the  Zambezi’s 'river people' and  more powerful others has been centrally important.

JoAnn McGregor is a Lecturer in Geography at University College London

Contents: Introduction: The Politics of Landscape on the Zambezi – Crossing the Zambezi: Landscape & Precolonial Power – Mapping the Zambezi: Imperial Knowledge & the Zambezi Frontier – Violence & Law in the Borderlands: Early Colonial Authority & Extraction – Bridging the River at Victoria Falls: Science & Early Colonial Expansion – Damming the Zambezi at Kariba: Late Colonial Developmentalism – Reclaiming the Borderlands: Ethnicity, Nationalism & War – Unsettled Claims: the Tonga & the Politics of Recognition in Zimbabwe – Surviving in the Borderlands: the ‘Unfinished Business’ of Lake Kariba – Unravelling the Politics of Landscape: A Conclusion – Sources & Bibliography - Index

James Currey   Weaver Press Harare