This rich collection of biographies of African men and women adds a crucial human dimension to our understanding of African history since 1800. The last two centuries have been a time of enormous change on the continent, and these life stories show how people survived by resisting European conquest and colonial rule, by collaborating with colonial powers, or by finding a middle way to live their lives through tumultuous times. Bringing the story to the present, the book traces the era of independence since the 1960s through challenges to the rule of African dictators, struggles for the rights of women and mothers, the exploitation of youth and child soldiers, and economic booms and busts. By recounting the lives of real, identifiable people from societies across Africa south of the Sahara and from African communities in Europe, this unique book underscores the importance and power of individual agency in understanding the recent African past, a vital complement to analyses of broader, impersonal social and economic factors. Contributions by: Agnès Adjamagbo, Maryan Muuse Boqor, Dennis D. Cordell, José C. Curto, Mamadou Diouf, Andreas Eckert, Laura Fair, Tovin Falola, Doug Henry, Lidwien Kapteijns, Issiaka Mandé, Cora Ann Presley, Carolyn F. Sargent, Pamela Scully, Ibrahim Sundiata, and Marcia Wright.