Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles

Front Cover
PublicAffairs, 2008 - History - 576 pages
7 Reviews
After a lifetime's close observation of the continent, one of the world's finest Africa correspondents has penned a landmark book on life and death in modern Africa. In captivating prose, Dowden spins tales of cults and commerce in Senegal and traditional spirituality in Sierra Leone; analyzes the impact of oil and the internet on Nigeria and aid on Sudan; and examines what has gone so badly wrong in Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Congo. From the individual stories of failure and success comes a surprising portrait of a new Africa emerging—an Africa that, Dowden argues, can only be developed by its own people. Dowden's master work is an attempt to explain why Africa is the way it is and calls for a re-examination of the perception of Africa as “the dark continent.” He reveals it as a place of inspiration and tremendous humanity.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - danoomistmatiste - LibraryThing

One of the better books on Africa. Very well researched and written with profiles of countries and rulers of a selected few countries starting from the period of their independence from their colonial ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mnicol - LibraryThing

A readable book, with interesting analogies and insights, some imaginary Afrikaans spelling and the odd dodgy generalisation. A very upbeat intro and epilogue sandwich some of the most depressing ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Richard Dowden is director of the Royal African Society. He spent a decade as Africa Editor of the Independent, and then another decade as Africa Editor of the Economist. He has made three television documentaries on Africa, for the BBC and Channel 4.

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