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Mandela, Mobutu, and Me: A Newswoman's African Journey
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Mandela, Mobutu, and Me: A Newswoman's African Journey

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  42 ratings  ·  10 reviews
In this stunning memoir, veteran Washington Post correspondent Lynne Duke takes readers on a wrenching but riveting journey through Africa during the pivotal 1990s and brilliantly illuminates a continent where hope and humanity thrive amid unimaginable depredation and horrors.

For four years as her newspaper's Johannesburg bureau chief, Lynne Duke cut a rare figure as a bla
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 21st 2003 by Doubleday (first published 2003)
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Loved this book because you rarely get the perspective of African-Americans covering Africa. Even more depressing you rarely get to read the memoirs of Africans themselves covering these conflicts, but that's another story. Her style was straightforward, no-nonsense, without a lot of emotional writing, yet her passion and connection still shines through. Great introduction to one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time. Won't get you bogged down in the details but prepares you to go on to h ...more
Lynne Duke is a Washington Post staff writer who was the Foreign Correspondent assigned to Jo'burg in the mid-1990's. Not only did she cover events in South Africa but elsewhere in the southern portion of the continent. The book was published in 2003 so it is a looking back on her experiences, and a wide range of experiences they were: Mandela's release from prison, rise to power and the years of his presidency, Mobutu's rise to power (DRC) and corrupt leadership leading to his overthrow, the g ...more

Synopsis: A reporter reflects on her time as Africa correspondent for the Washington Post.

Thoughts: This is not an exhaustive account of the end of Apartheid, the Rwandan Genocide, or ouster of Mobuto Sese Seko; however, if your knowledge on any of these subjects is lacking (or, as was in my case, entirely absent), this is a very readable introduction to some of the conflicts that have roiled Sub-Saharan Africa at the end of the 20th Century. Duke provides concise, snapshot-like descriptions of
For any readers who were disappointed by Duke's personal journey commentary, try reading A Continent for the Taking by Howard French. The two books have some overlap, but French, a writer for the New York Times, takes more of an analytical approach. His style is a bit more dense and less breezy than Duke's but engaging nonetheless. As for Duke's book, I, too, was initially put off by her personal commentary but as I moved through the entire book, I began to appreciate it as a memoir of her exper ...more
Lynne Duke worked as a correspondent in Zaire/Congo and South Africa during very turbulent and newsmaking times. She explores the hopes and failures of regimes, governments and individuals in African politics and wars. She faces extreme poverty and racial hatred, AIDS and its social devistation. The root of the Congo Wars and why they continue. In it all she shares her love and understanding of how the things happening there are a piece of her own understanding of herself as an African American ...more
Sandy J
I read this book right after reading Aiden Hartley's Zanzibar Chest. Fantastic contrast of a black American women and a white Kenayan man's experiences as correspondants in Africa during the turbulent 1990's. I found Lynne Duke the more sympathetic, insightful and engrossing.
I read this one in Namibia waiting for Jer to come back from mediacal appointments....not the best read but ok if stuck in Windhoek.
UCLA graduate working for the Washington Post writes about her four years in Africa. Not reflective but uninformative.
Very interesting. Made me realize how little I still know about Africa and need to learn.
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