Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Category: 960s

960: The Fate of Africa by Martin Meredith

DDC_960

960.32: Meredith, Martin. The Fate of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence. New York: PublicAffairs, 2005. 688 pp. ISBN 1-58648-246-7.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 900: History and Geography
  • 960: History of Africa
  • 960.3: 1885 to present
  • 960.32: 1945-1999

In the late 19th century, European powers went to work dividing up the continent of Africa among themselves. Great Britain, France, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, and Italy each took a piece in hope of increasing their own economies and their own power. By the 1950s, however, African population groups began to declare independence from their European overseers. One by one, countries emerged to form a modern Africa, but then, one by one, those same countries began to crumble under their own problems. Rampant cronyism, unmitigated illness, poor education, and a severe lack of infrastructure have led the continent of Africa to the state it’s in now. Martin Meredith’s The Fate of Africa is an unflinching look at the people and processes that have formed Africa as we know it today.

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963: Chameleon Days by Tom Bascom

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963.06092: Bascom, Tom. Chameleon Days: An American Boyhood in Ethiopia. New York: Mariner, 2006. 236 p. ISBN 978-0-618-65869-5.

Dewey Breakdown:

• 900: History and Geography
• 960: History of Africa
• 963: History of Ethiopia and Eritrea
• 963.06: History of Ethiopia from 1941 to 1974
• +092: Biography

In 1964, the Bascom family moved from Kansas to Ethiopia. Tom Bascom’s father was a doctor and a religious man, and so, felt a calling to help struggling folks in Africa with both medicine and faith. At the time, little Tommy was just three years old and had to adjust to a completely new set of circumstances. Bascom’s Chameleon Days is a grand look at the both the small scale details of living in Ethiopia as a American and the social and religious landscape of the country under Haile Selassie.

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966: Timbuktu by Marq de Villiers and Sheila Hirtle

DDC_966

966.23: De Villiers, Marq & Sheila Hirtle. Timbuktu: The Sahara’s Fabled City of Gold. New York: Walker & Company, 2007. 266 pp. ISBN 978-0-8027-1497-8.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 900: History and Geography
  • 960: History of Africa
  • 966: History of West Africa and offshore islands
  • 966.2: History of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger
  • 966.23: History of Mali

For many around the world, the mention of Timbuktu conjures images of a far-off land so remote that very few have even been there. Even the well-traveled have never been there. Many still consider it a mythical place. But for the 54,000 people who still live there, in a town mainly constructed from mud bricks, the city holds a rich place in the history of West Africa and Mali in particular. It was a part of the great Saharan trade routes, visited by the medieval explorers Leo Africanus and Shabeni, and ruled by the wondrous Mansa Musa during the 14th century. Marq de Villiers’s and Sheila Hirtle’s  Timbuktu is a rich journey into this long-forgotten place.

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967: Facing the Lion by Joseph Lemosolai Lekuton

967.62004965: Lekuton, Joseph Lemosolai. Facing the Lion: Growing Up Maasai on the African Savanna. Washington, DC: National Geographic, 203. 123 pp. ISBN 0-7922-5125-3.

Memoirs don’t really have a place anymore in the modern Dewey. They used to go into the 920s, but since the exodus in the latest editions, they have to go somewhere else. Many times, memoirs are simple biographies and autobiographies, and those are classed in the subject area that the person was primarily involved with. Chemists go in 540, airline pilots go in 387, Spanish authors go in 860, and so forth. When the memoir focuses on place and culture and tradition, then it gets a little fuzzy. The current practice is to place country-specific memoirs in the same section that holds works on the history of that region. Today’s book, since it is a memoir of life in Kenya, goes into the section for the history of Central Africa—967.

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