THE Anglophone literature has conceptualized the history of the African ‘space’ through two major approaches. Fine-grained reconstructions of land disputes have helped to illuminate colonial changes in the political and economic control over residential and productive units, and to assess the local (im)possibilities for Africans of accumulating landed property and/or penetrating the new plantation and market economy. More recently, environmental studies have encouraged historians to uncover how fundamental alterations in the relationships between communities and their physical environment have been shaping ancient and recent struggles for identities and socio-political resources. Meanwhile, renewed attention to cognitive notions of space by anthropologists on the one hand, and literary critics on the other, has delineated deep structuring principles in the ideological construction of space among Africans and colonizers. Few historians have followed through, however, and historicized such imaginaries. Among those who have done so, and have traced people's conceptual, commemorative and moral visions of land, fewer still have ventured beyond the boundaries of specific locales and societies. By reconstructing a longue durée history of the disruptions in both the physical and cognitive spaces of the Gabonese rainforest, Chris Gray's book stands as a major attempt to bridge these gaps.