Image: Toby Green
Toby Green is the author of a diverse body of work, and his work has been translated into 16 languages. He worked as a teacher, literary agent and journalist before becoming an academic specializing in the history of precolonial West Africa, and he is now Professor of Precolonial and Lusophone African History and Culture at King's College London. He lives with his life partner, Emily, and their two teenage daughters; as well as with a growing crowd of seedlings which he tries to cultivate in an allotment garden.
Green's first major historical work was Inquisition: The Reign of Fear (Macmillan, 2007; Thomas Dunne, 2009), and this was followed by The Rise of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in Western Africa, 1300-1589 (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and the prize-winning book A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution (Allen Lane/Chicago University Press, 2019). Green is also the author of a biography of the first Bishop of Michoacan in Mexico, Thomas More's Magician (2004, Weidenfeld & Nicolson); of the novels Imaginary Crimes (2013) and Colombian Roulette (2016), both published by Mkuki na Nyota; and of two early travel books, Saddled with Darwin (1999) and Meeting the Invisible Man (2001). Since October 2020, he has been working on the impacts of responses to Covid-19 from an internationalist perspective: the first edition of his book The Covid Consensus was published by Hurst and OUP in Spring 2021, and the second edition (coauthored with Thomas Fazi) was published in January 2023.
Beyond ongoing writing projects, Green's work has focussed on research into early African history and public access to it. In the UK he developed a new A level option with the OCR A level board, "African Kingdoms: 1400-1800" (see www.africankingdoms.co.uk); and he has helped develop a series of teaching resources aimed at younger children, also available on this site. He is also co-ordinating editor of a team-written coursebook for West African secondary schoolchildren, alongside historians from Fourah Bay College (Sierra Leone), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana), Michigan State University, and the National Centre for Arts and Culture (The Gambia), which is freely available to download across the continent from an eplatform at https:///wasscehistorytextbook.wordpress.com; and is part of the management team for a new network for academics from Portuguese-speaking Africa, https://resal.website.
Green is committed to research into the impacts of responses to the Coronavirus pandemic. For more information, see under the 'Current Affairs and Journalism' tab.
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