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4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  97 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Journalist Blaine Harden reveals the darker, unsightly picture of Africa which is beginning to emerge in the media.
Published November 19th 1992 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published September 1990)
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Phil Williams
Jul 19, 2012 Phil Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in learning about Africa, with personal but far reaching tales.
There is a dearth of good literature in English about the continent of Africa and its general history, and a great deal of ignorance for the outsider looking in. With this book, Blaine Harden made an admiral effort to give an insight into the continent, creating vivid pictures of very unique pockets of African history, society and culture. Now dated by over two decades, this is both a readable analysis of the modern history of certain African nations and a source of history itself, thanks to Har ...more
Oct 02, 2014 Tim rated it really liked it
A bit dated now but for its time, a very well-balanced view of Africa. Presents it as a continent of incredible people plagued by appalling despotic leaders, all completely unaccountable to anyone.
Muriuki  MD
Jan 06, 2014 Muriuki MD rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first read on issues affecting contemporary Africa and I loved it. Harden not only gives a balanced opinion about a continent often seen as being plagued by hopelessness, he takes readers through all that real and imagined desolation and manages to conjure a sense of optimism. Apart from learning a little history, I thoroughly enjoyed his literal prowess and witty humor. I hope he writes a 21st century sequel.
Jun 28, 2012 Vikram rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good on Kenya, quite enthusiastic on Nigeria, some interesting stuff about kinship and the Big Men, but it's dated. The author thinks discredited free market policies and structural adjustment programmes work. He was writing in the End of History 90s though..
Sep 10, 2011 Lucius rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was banned in Kenya because of what it had to say about the leadership at that time. Harden did a great job of showing the reality of the time. Wish he had continued to write about the continent through the intervening years.
Nov 23, 2008 Hartley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biology, history
This really opens my American's eyes to the blindness we permit mass media to not discuss. Sometime smells rotten and I think it starts in my wallet.
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Harden is an author and journalist who worked for The Washington Post for 28 years as a correspondent in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia, as well as in New York and Seattle. He was also a national correspondent for The New York Times and writer for the Times Magazine. He contributes to The Economist and PBS Frontline.

Harden's most recent book is "The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot" (Viking/Pen
More about Blaine Harden...

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