Martin A. Klein Prize Recipients
First awarded at the 2011 annual meeting, the Martin A. Klein Prize recognizes the most distinguished work of scholarship on African history published in English during the previous year. Focusing primarily on continental Africa (including those islands usually treated as countries of Africa), books on any period of African history and from any disciplinary field that incorporates a historical perspective are eligible. The prize committee pays particular attention to methodological innovation, conceptual originality, literary excellence, and reinterpretation of old themes or development of new theoretical perspectives.
2014 Klein Prize
Allen F. Isaacman, Univ. of Minnesota, and Barbara S. Isaacman, independent scholar
Dams, Displacement, and the Delusion of Development: Cahora Bassa and Its Legacies in Mozambique, 1965–2007 (Ohio Univ. Press)
Dams, Displacement, and the Delusion of Development reveals the human and environmental costs of a high modernist project undertaken by a racist colonial state and continued by its independent successor. Using a wide lens that examines hydrology, food security, political economy, and political conflict and drawing on a vast set of oral histories, the authors explore how the project fundamentally changed the ecology of the Zambezi Valley and lives of many thousands of Africans while yielding little development for Mozambiquans. This elegantly written, multi-faceted account raises vital questions about political sovereignty and development in colonial and postcolonial Africa.