The complete Cambridge History of Africa was intended to present the most comprehensive and up-to-date synthesis of historical development on the African continent. Central Africa to 1870: Zambezia, Zaire and the South Atlantic consists of chapters written for the History by David Birmingham. They were originally published in three separate volumes, and are reprinted here to provide a continuous survey of the political, social, and economic changes that took place in Central Africa during the eight centuries before the colonial era. The first chapter covers the transition from the early Iron Age culture to more mature cultures, characterized by long-distance trade, by more varied technologies and by the emergence of complex political systems. The expansion of European influence, from the late fifteenth century onwards, is considered in the second chapter, together with the modification of economic and political structures in areas affected by the development of the slave trade. The final chapter deals with the last phase of Central Africa's pre-colonial history during which a series of new dynamic forces intruded into the region. A new bibliographical essay of suggestions for further reading has been compiled for this edition. It will be valuable to both students and teachers of African history."