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African Dow Paperback – 13 Oct 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: New Generation Publishing (13 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847483933
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847483935
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,680,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Jim Dow has been a journalist for more than fifty years. He is also chairman of a public relations and design company, co-editor of a website newspaper and has written a book on the Scottish islands. His wife Lorna says he has found an eighth day in t

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. Reid on 23 Jan 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is a joy. Tales of the author's boarding school days in Africa made me laugh out loud. An African version of Tom Brown's school days!

However life in Kenya in the late 50's and early 60's was not all fun and schoolboy pranks. The author vividly recalls the political unrest and turmoil that came as a country and it's people reached out for independence.

This book is beautifully written and you really get a sense of what life in Kenya was like at that time. Jim Dow's love of Africa is stamped on every page and his wistful reminiscence made me wish I had been there with him. I have never been to Africa but it's now top of my list of things to do.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ian Fraser on 27 July 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book, an autobiographical account of Dow's years in Africa, in one sitting. It provides a fascinating insight into Africa on the cusp of change - as well as the workings of "dead tree" newspapers and journalists in a vanished era - and deserves to have a much wider readership. Jim Dow arrives in Africa as a naive teenager in the late 1950s and is initially shocked by the social and racial segregation that was then regarded as normal in the former East African colonies of Tanzania and Kenya. He leaves in 1963 as a more worldly-wise journalist, with a wife (Lorna) and daughter (Karen) in tow. For me, 'African Dow's' most interesting passages include Dow's eyewitness accounts of the tensions between white farmers and the new generation of black leaders (and their followers) who are desirous of change. He provides a fair and balanced portrait of the early post-colonial black leaders such as Jomo Kenyatta, Julius Nyere and Daniel P Arap Moi, all of whom Dow knew personally. He also perfectly captures the complacency of the white ruling class, most of whom rather like the status quo and seem unprepared for change. Paradoxically it was the old Etonian UK prime minister, Harold Macmillan, who recognised that change was inevitable (with his famous "Winds of change" speech) rather than senior people on the ground. Dow ends this intimate and humane account of an African life by writing: "Everything is different in Africa. The dust of Africa after forty years is still on the shoes. It's in the hair, under the fingernails, in the nostrils. You never forget having been in Africa."
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By Caddy on 8 Mar 2012
Format: Paperback
Jim Dow's book gave me an real insight into what was really going on in Kenya, in the short time I was living there. I was brought up in Dar es Salaam,Tanzania, started off at Mgalani camp (as did the Dow's) before my father was given a coach on the railway. He had to travel up and down the main line as a Station Equipment Inspector. I attended the Mbeya, Kongwa, and Iringa boarding schools there, but my father was transferred to Nairobi in 1962. I got married in the same church (St.Andrew's)in Nairobi as Jim and Lorna did, on 8th December, 1963. But then returned to Tanzania.
My husband had attended Prince of Wales school and he was there during the Mau Mau emergency years. I keep in touch with a few if his school friends (one of which had met Jim Dow at one of their school reunions in London).
It was with pure delight that I read and re-read Jim's book. I was amazed at his courage to attend those political meetings that could have turned violent.
My husband went to work in Sierra Leone, West Africa and I lived there with him for several years, but we retired in the U.K.
I couldn't agree more - you can never shake off the dust of Africa. You never forget living in Africa.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
A Brave Man Indeed 8 Mar 2012
By Caddy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Jim Dow's book gave me an real insight into what was really going on in Kenya, in the short time I was living there. I was brought up in Dar es Salaam,Tanzania, started off at Mgalani camp (as did the Dow's) before my father was given a coach on the railway. He had to travel up and down the main line as a Station Equipment Inspector. I attended the Mbeya, Kongwa, and Iringa boarding schools there, but my father was transferred to Nairobi in 1962. I got married in the same church (St.Andrew's)in Nairobi as Jim and Lorna did, on 8th December, 1963. But then returned to Tanzania.

My husband had attended Prince of Wales school and he was there during the Mau Mau emergency years. I keep in touch with a few if his school friends (one of which had met Jim Dow at one of their school reunions in London).

It was with pure delight that I read and re-read Jim's book. I was amazed at his courage to attend those political meetings that could have turned violent.
My husband went to work in Sierra Leone, West Africa and I lived there with him for several years, but we retired in the U.K.

I couldn't agree more - you can never shake off the dust of Africa. You never forget living in Africa.
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