I am a professor of the history of Africa. I have spent four decades researching and writing about the historic West African forest kingdom of Asante (or Ashanti, now in Ghana), the most richly documented and most complex state and society in all of sub-Saharan Africa. In recent years I have become intrigued by the ways in which African histories authored by academic practitioners have been subjected to an ever-rising tide of readings, and misreadings, by interested publics and partisan propagandists. This paper addresses the problematic but understudied interaction between practitioners, publics, and propagandists in the understanding of history today. However, it is not about Africa.
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