Based on extensive archival research in six countries and intensive fieldwork, the book analyses the history of the village of Nkholongue on the eastern shore of Lake Malawi from the time of its formation in the 19th century to the present day. The study uses Nkholongue as micro-historical lens to examine a wide variety of topics as diverse as the slave trade, the spread of Islam, colonization, subsistence production, counter-insurgency, decolonization, civil war, eco-tourism, and matriliny. Thereby, the book seeks to consequently reflect on the generalizability and (global) comparability of local findings by framing analyses in historiographical discussions that go beyond the regional or national level. Although the chapters of the book deal with very different topics and can also stand on their own, they are united by a common interest in the history of rural Africa in the longue durée. Contrary to persistent clichés of rural inertia in Africa, the book as a whole underscores the profound changeability of social conditions and relations in Nkholongue over the years, highlighting the frequent and often violent ruptures brought to the village from outside.