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A Passage To Africa [Paperback]

George Alagiah
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

6 Dec 2007
As a five-year-old, George Alagiah emigrated with his family to Ghana - the first African country to attain independence from the British Empire. A PASSAGE TO AFRICA is Alagiah's shattering catalogue of atrocities crafted into a portrait of Africa that is infused with hope, insight and outrage. In vivid and evocative prose and with a fine eye for detail Alagiah's viewpoint is spiked with the freshness of the young George on his arrival in Ghana, the wonder with which he recounts his first impressions of Africa and the affection with which he dresses his stories of his early family life. A sense of possibility lingers, even though the book is full of uncomfortable truths. It is a book neatly balanced on his integrity and sense of obligation in his role as a writer and reporter. The shock of recognition is always there, but it is the personal element that gives A PASSAGE TO AFRICA its originality. Africa becomes not only a group of nations or a vast continent, but an epic of individual pride and suffering.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (6 Dec 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349120781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349120782
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 334,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The emphatic authority that George Alagiah has brought to his reports from Africa for BBC News is just as strong a component of his book (THE TIMES)

'Without rhetoric or rancour, his eloquent book places these issues in their true context, and frames some of the major moral questions of our time (INDEPENDENT)

Book Description

* George Alagiah's personal testament about Africa, updated in a new Abacus edition

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
Long, long before I came to know and love Africa as a place, I yearned for it as an idea. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Having seen George Alagiah as a first-rate foreign affairs correspondent and then news reader for the BBC, I was delighted to find he could also write. This is a good mix of biography and factual review of events in certain African countries, seen from the perspective not only of a journalist but also of an "insider". Most books on Africa are written either by Europeans or Africans themselves and the fact that Alagiah originally comes from an Asian developing country gives a different edge to his comments. His analysis of the situation in Somalia as well as the Congo are particularly strong. There are also thrilling accounts of his escapades as a journalist in Africa, which should delight many a would-be correspondent. I would recommend this book highly and anyone in the least bit interested in Africa, journalism or indeed the personal story of a boy/man, who has been through many upheavals and come through successfully, will find it well worth their while.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Being a South African, I am more than just averagely interested in books on Africa. I knew George Aligiah from news reporting on UK TV only - I had no idea of his roots or his African adventures.
I found his writing exceptionally easy to read and personal. He writes of HIS experiences, and makes no apologies for not trying to write a full history of a situation. He lets you know of the wonders of Africa, as well as some of its horrors, and gets the balance right.
I finished the book wanting more, and feeling prouder of Africa than I had in a long time. Don't miss it!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb - a magnificent account 16 Jan 2004
By M. V. Clarke VINE VOICE
This is, quite simply, a brilliant book. George Alagiah leads the reader through a history of modern Africa from a personal, involved and genuinely compassionate point of view. He details his own upbringing, first in Ceylon then in Ghana, where his family moved when he was 5. He then goes on to give fascinating and thought provoking accounts of his journalistic experiences in many different African countries. The accounts of his dealings with various regimes, armies, and above all ordinary people cannot fail to move the reader. He is not afraid to speak his mind, criticising various movements and leaders, both from Africa and the Western world. This book succeeds in making the amazing continent come alive, with stories of its people, its promise and its problems told by one of its proudest sons. Alagiah's understanding of African politics, culture, family and social life offer the reader super insights that any author without such a personal experience would surely struggle to do. Read it!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A PASSAGE TO AFRICA 26 Jan 2006
This is probably the best book I have ever read. No other book has challenged, entertained and captivated me so much since I don't know when. Being an expatriate of Ghana, and having lived in England for the past ten years, this book has compelled me to get more involved and interested in African affairs today enough to want to make a difference. In his unassuming and matter-of-fact way of writing, George Alagiah has brought very sharply into question the apathy that silently plagues ex-pats like myself when it comes to making a stand for Africa in the face of corruption and caring enough about the plight of our less fortunate brothers and sisters caught in the cruel grip of poverty.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Introduction to a truthfull insight of Africa 5 Dec 2002
His experience seems to encourage him to express what he believes is important to be shared about this continent.
The truthfullness of his expression brings the reader to compassion and encourages his interest for understanding...
Through the simplicity of words he is able to express the complexity of african nature but also the hope which lies beneath it. In some way, without excusing any atrocities, nor embellishing any symbolic hope, he truthfully makes Africa a continent to be proud of.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read and update on Africa 2 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have always admired the frank and clear reporting style of George Alagiah, and his book educated me on the recent history of African loitics and its many wayward leaders
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