After a lifetimes close observation of the continent, one of the worlds finest Africa correspondents has penned a landmark book on life and death in modern Africa. It takes a guide as observant, experienced, and patient as Richard Dowden to reveal its truths. Dowden combines a novelists gift for atmosphere with the scholars grasp of historical change as he 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. Dowdens master work is an attempt to explain why Africa is the way it is, and enables its readers to see and understand this miraculous continent as a place of inspiration and tremendous humanity.
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.