The idea of ​​writing a book on the history of alcohol in meetings between Europe and Africa was born from a finding of discontinuity in the scientific analysis of the "social fact" that has often been imposed the breaks in political developments or breaks. Alcohol, although known in Africa since time immemorial, has become an object of free and common consumption from contacts with Europe and, at each stage, it has played a structuring role both in relations between whites. and Blacks only in changing habits and behaviors within African societies. Although it is admitted that almost all liquor given to Africans during the Atlantic Treaty was of very poor quality and dangerous for human life, it must also be recognized that it was a deliberately thought-out psychological approach whose purpose was to to lull the awakening of African leaders and, in turn, their communities. This instrumentalization of alcohol has been further strengthened in the context of the so-called legitimate trade and throughout the colonial period. The experience of Cameroon, under French administration, reveals that the involvement of the League of Nations in the fight against alcoholism in the territories under mandate seems to have had effect only on the regulation of importation and circulation alcoholic beverages. The administration has always ensured that the country remains an outlet for the sale of brewing products from the metropolis. Colonial society (characterized by domination, coercion, stress, repression, etc.) creating the conditions for heavy drinking, not only have indigenous peoples been very receptive to imported beverages, but they have also developed their inventive genius by producing, in addition to wines and beers, distilled beverages whose alcohol content surpassed that of liqueurs from Europe. The administrative tolerance exercised over the freedoms taken by European traders and the population vis-à-vis the alcohol regime, testifies to a colonial power that seemed to understand that the context was appropriate. This situation persists in the postcolonial state, where the public authorities, aware of their failure to provide the population with better prospects for their well-being, let these populations "realize" or "flourish" in the alcohol.


Jean Baptiste NZOGUE is Professor-Researcher at the University of Douala since 2012. His work focuses on the social history of European colonization in Africa, with a great interest in built heritage from this time. He has to his credit several international trainings that give him skills in areas such as the writing of projects for the grant of research, the creation of innovative teaching methods in Higher Education and the supervision of the doctoral research in African context. Dr. Nzogue has been carrying, since 2018, a research project on the issues of the heritage of architecture of the German period in the cities of Cameroon. He is author and co-author of numerous articles and books.

Joseph Tonton SONFA LELA is a young researcher enrolled in PhD at the University of Douala. Holder of a Master in Economic and Social History, he is particularly interested in the "induced effects" of the meeting between sub-Saharan Africa and the Western world. Concomitantly with his doctoral research, he practices as a teacher in a private college.

Details of the book

Title : L’alcool dans les rencontres entre l’Europe et l’Afrique noire
De la traite atlantique à la colonisation : Aperçu général et expérience camerounaise
Author : Jean Baptiste NZOGUE, Joseph Tonton SONFA LELA
Editor : Editions Cheikh Anta Diop
Collection : Collection Historiographie du Monde Contemporain
ISBN-13 : 987-9956-657-67-3
Language : French
Number of pages : 296
Size : 16 X 23 cm
Publication date : September 02, 2019
Price : Africa : 20 € / 13 130 - Out of Africa : 30 € / 19 680
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