Altered States, Ordinary Miracles

Book - 2008
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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 Leo≠ 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.
Publisher: New York : Public Affairs, 2008
ISBN: 9781586487539
Branch Call Number: 960.32 Dow 3558ad 1
Characteristics: xiv, 576 p. :,maps


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Jan 10, 2014

Outstanding collection of facts, history and personal anecdotes from the author who has lived, loved, and worked in Africa.
His final chapters analyzing the role China is playing in Africa is outstanding. Like "Dead Aid" he explains how aid can be counterproductive on the continent.
Overall, his book is much more positive and engaging than Meredith's "State of Africa".
I highly recommend it to people who want to understand post-colonial Africa.

Dec 31, 2012

This book has really helped me to understand the stories behind the headlines. It is well written and is easy to read. I did get a bit confused by all the unfamiliar names but I expect that in a book that surveys a broad topic.

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