This volume examines the "Amazons", whose existence has been verified via documents and eye-witness accounts from battles for the West African kingdom of Dahomey in the 18th and 19th centuries. Originally palace guards, the Amazons had evolved by the 1760s into professional troops armed mainly with muskets, machetes and clubs. Theoretically wives of the king and quartered in his palaces, they were actually sworn to celibacy on pain of death. In compensation they enjoyed a semi-sacred status and numerous privileges, including the right to own slaves. By the 1840s their numbers had grown to 6000. The Amazons served under female officers and had their own bands, flags and insignia: they outdrilled, outshot and outfought men, became frontline shock troops and fought with ferocity and fearlessness till the kingdom's final defeat by France in 1892. This text is based on years of detailed archival research and includes more than 20 line drawings and photographs.
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Stanley B. Alpern worked as a sub-editor for the New York Herald Tribune and then as a foreign service officer of the United States Information Agency for twenty-two years. He lives on the French Riviera.Review:
Alpern draws together the available material on this peculiar institution into an interesting and readable book. The author's meticulous literary and archival research indicates that these females were indeed formidable warriors in the turbulent nineteenth-century era of the slave trade and subsequent European colonial conquest ... Alpern's work is an informative study. -- W. Arens, Choice Alpern does very well in assembling most of the evidence about these intimidating women whose courage impressed even the Foreign Legion. He produces a very detailed picture from a wide variety of European and African sources. He provides a readable narrative of Dahomean military history from the state's origins to its defeat by France in 1892, ... [and] a mass of information on what these women wore, ate and sang, how they were recruited, trained and mobilised. -- Richard Rathbone, The Times Alpern has written an impressively comprehensive study covering all aspects of this extraordinary military force - he describes them in fascinating detail - Altogether he has made an important scholarly contribution to the history of nineteenth-century West Africa in which the Amazon achievement has until now been scarcely mentioned. -- Christopher Fyfe, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History ... and today they [the Amazons] exist as no more than footnotes to history. Only one scholarly work has been written about these women, Amazons of Black Sparta by Stanley B. Alpern. -- Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest A succint, yet comprehensive, survey of the history of Dahomey. ... Alpern is by no means the first writer to give an account of the Amazons of Dahomey. Yet, his is by far the most detailed and most convincing. ... Truly, Alpern's portrait of the Amazons is a well deserved encomium to the courage and dedication of these intrepid women warriors. ... [and] the feather in the cap of this extremely well-written book is [its] remarkable empathy. -- Africa Review of Books
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Descrizione libro Hurst & Co Ltd. PAPERBACK. Condizione libro: New. 1850653623 New Condition. Codice libro della libreria NEW7.1699871
Descrizione libro Hurst & Co Ltd, 2001. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria M1850653623