A Choice Outstanding Academic Book of 1999
“Robertson’s book represents a powerful contribution to African social, economic, and women’s history. Highly recommended.” —Choice
"An important resource for anyone interested in the history of women and trade in modern Kenya. . . ." —International Journal of African Historical Studies
“ . . . a landmark study, meticulously executed and written. . . . it will have a wide impact on some of the most significant questions facing the disciplines of history, anthropology, political science, and development economics.” —Gracia Clark
Herskovitz Award-winner Claire Robertson employs a variety of approaches to analyze and weave together this wide-ranging study. Her book provides an extensive case study of historical transformations in gender, agriculture, residence, and civil society. Based on archival documents, library sources (fiction and nonfiction, primary and secondary), surveys and oral histories, participant observation, and quantitative and qualitative analysis, Robertson breaks new ground by focusing on traders in one commodity, dried staples, and comparing and contrasting the evolution of women's trade with men's trade.