Niumi, a small, little-known territory located on the bank of the Gambia River in West Africa, is seemingly far from the reaches of world historical events. And yet the outside world has long had a significant - and increasingly profound - impact on Niumi. This fascinating work shows how global events have affected people's lives over the past eight centuries in this small region in Africa's smallest country. Drawing on written and oral testimony, and writing in a clear and personal style, Donald R. Wright connects 'globalization' with real people in a real place. This new edition updates discussions of global history and African history based on current studies and new developments that have been factored into the interpretive framework. Reflecting on recent visits to Niumi, Wright extends the story into 2009, to consider the impact of global recession and domestic political repression under a regime in power for the past fifteen years. Punctuating the narrative are photographs, maps, and 'Perspectives' boxes on selected topics such as the sale of slaves five centuries ago, colonial sexism, the fate of press freedom, and how popular culture affects growing up in a traditional society. Throughout, the author deals with African history seriously, global trends critically, and human lives sensitively.