Lifebuoy Men, Lux Women

Commodification, Consumption, and Cleanliness in Modern Zimbabwe

Timothy Burke


The book is available in North America, not in Zimbabwe.


How do people come to need products they never even knew they wanted? How did indigenous Zimbabweans of the 1940s begin to believe that they required Lifebuoy soap? Offering a glimpse into the intimate workings of modern colonialism and global capitalism, Timothy Burke takes up these questions in Lifebuoy Men, Lux Women, a study of post-World War II commodity culture in Zimbabwe.


An exciting and original contribution to a number of areas of study: the history of Africa, the history of the body, and the history of commodification. It is clearly the result of painstakingly thorough research and historical imagination.- Megan Anne Vaughan, Oxford University


Timothy Burke is a professor at Swarthmore College. His main field of specialty is modern African history, specifically southern Africa, but he has also worked on U.S. popular culture and on computer games.