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Domesticating the World

African Consumerism and the Genealogies of Globalization

Jeremy Prestholdt (Author)


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This book boldly unsettles the idea of globalization as a recent phenomenon—and one driven solely by Western interests—by offering a compelling new perspective on global interconnectivity in the nineteenth century. Jeremy Prestholdt examines East African consumers' changing desires for material goods from around the world in an era of sweeping social and economic change. Exploring complex webs of local consumer demands that affected patterns of exchange and production as far away as India and the United States, the book challenges presumptions that Africa's global relationships have always been dictated by outsiders. Full of rich and often-surprising vignettes that outline forgotten trajectories of global trade and consumption, it powerfully demonstrates how contemporary globalization is foreshadowed in deep histories of intersecting and reciprocal relationships across vast distances.
List of Illustrations

Introduction: Histories and Globality
1. Similitude and Global Relationships: Self-Representation in Mutsamudu
2. The Social Logics of Need: Consumer Desire in Mombasa
3. The Global Repercussions of Consumerism: East African Consumers and Industrialization
4. Cosmopolitanism and Cultural Domestication: Consumer Imports in Zanzibar
5. Symbolic Subjection and Social Rebirth: Objectification in Urban Zanzibar
6. Picturesque Contradictions: New Taxonomies of East Africa

Selected Bibliography
Jeremy Prestholdt is Assistant Professor History at the University of California, San Diego.
“Prestholdt’s volume . . . challenges some key assumptions concerning issues of globality. . . . Domesticating the World comes at an important moment in the development of globalization studies, and is an important contribution to that literature.”—Jessica Lynn Achberger World History Bltn
“This is truly a remarkable and important book. It is extremely well written, includes some wonderful pictures and illustrations, and is very accessible and engaging for scholars and students.”—Dorothy L. Hodgson American Historical Review
“An unprecedentedly close look at East Africans as consumers and the effect of their consumption on the global economy of the nineteenth century.”—Erik Gilbert African Stds Review
“The breadth and methodological approach, along with the singularity of its content, make this book a highly necessary addition to the ever-growing body of scholarship on globalization.”—Journal Of World History
“Fascinating detail.”—W. W. Reinhardt Choice
“This book deserves to be widely read and is an important counterpoint to narratives of globality.”—Kathleen Smythe Intl Journal Of African Historical Stds
“ Ingeniously stands the study of globalization and trade on its head.”—Edward Alpers, Chair of Department of History, UCLA

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