James C. McCann provides a synthesis of evidence and a narrative of Africa's evironmental history over the past two centuries. In a book readily accessible to undergraduates and nonspecialists, Professor McCann argues that far from being pristine and primordial spaces, Africa's landscapes were created by human activity. This argument contrasts strongly with the idealized notions of an African Eden commonly held in the West and in Africa itself. It also confronts more recent alarm about degradation of Africa's natural and human resources by examining the historical evidence of environmental change. Key topics within the book are the effects of population growth, disease, agricultural change, the state of natural resources, and the changing role of the state in how Africans have managed and changed their own landscapes.