A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Dec 18, 2007 - History - 320 pages
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In A Continent for the Taking Howard W. French, a veteran correspondent for The New York Times, gives a compelling firsthand account of some of Africa’s most devastating recent history–from the fall of Mobutu Sese Seko, to Charles Taylor’s arrival in Monrovia, to the genocide in Rwanda and the Congo that left millions dead. Blending eyewitness reportage with rich historical insight, French searches deeply into the causes of today’s events, illuminating the debilitating legacy of colonization and the abiding hypocrisy and inhumanity of both Western and African political leaders.

While he captures the tragedies that have repeatedly befallen Africa’s peoples, French also opens our eyes to the immense possibility that lies in Africa’s complexity, diversity, and myriad cultural strengths. The culmination of twenty-five years of passionate exploration and understanding, this is a powerful and ultimately hopeful book about a fascinating and misunderstood continent.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fieldnotes - LibraryThing

Unlike much of the other African travel writing and reportage that I have read, French's book is uncompromisingly fact-laden and dense. There are a few moments when the history that he lived through ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SeriousGrace - LibraryThing

Howard French's portrayal of Africa is both professional and passionate. He is scholarly and sentimental. There is a deep knowledge about, and an undeniable kinship with, this continent yet French is ... Read full review


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Acknowledgments 265

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About the author (2007)

Howard W. French is a senior writer for the New York Times. After teaching at the University of Ivory Coast in the early 1980s, he began his journalism career writing about Africa for the Washington Post, Africa News, The Economist and numerous other publications. Since 1986, he has reported for the Times from Central America, the Caribbean, West and Central Africa, Japan, Korea, and now China. In 1997, his coverage of the fall of Mobuto Sese Seko won the Overseas Press Club of America's award for best newspaper interpretation of foreign affairs. French was born in Washington, D.C., and now lives in Shanghai with his wife and their two children.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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