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Africa: Dispatches from a Fragile Continent: Despatches from a Fragile Continent Paperback – 19 Nov 1992

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Flamingo; New Ed edition (19 Nov. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006378560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006378563
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 540,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘The best contemporary book on Africa.’ Richard Dowden, Independent

‘This is an extraordinary and frightening book. Blaine Harden evokes with passion, argument , and fabulous stories the destruction of Africa. He is a superb reporter and writer.’ William Shawcross

‘Harden’s “dispatches” peel back the traditional mystique of the so-called “dark continent” and identify enduring African values of family, religion and fellowship. Authoritative, entertaining and mercifully free of giraffes and safari suits.’ Observer

‘An outstanding account of the complexities of the fragile continent. Few writers can match harden’s insights into the continent’s malaise.’ Financial Times

From the Back Cover

This remarkable and controversial book is the first to get behind the picture post-card presentation of modern Africa. A distinguished American reporter, Harden reveals the true and often unsightly picture of this vast continent. The issues he addresses – the incompetent intervention of Western governments and the battle between the tribal way of life and modernity – are presented through lucid and gripping stories about individual people and incidents Harden has known. He himself was once thrown out of Kenya for the strength and accuracy of his reporting; this book will cause an equal stir in the debate about where Africa is going and what it is becoming.

"This is an extraordinary and frightening book. Blaine Harden evokes with passion, argument, and fabulous stories the destruction of Africa at the end of the millenium. He is a superb reporter and writer."
WILLIAM SHAWCROSS

"Harden's 'dispatches' peel back the traditional mystique of the so-called 'dark continent' and identify enduring African values of family, religion and fellowship. Authoritative, entertaining and mercifully free of giraffes and safari suits."
OBSERVER

"An outstanding account of the complexities of the fragile continent. Few writers can match Harden's insights into the continent's malaise."
MICHAEL HOLMAN, 'Financial Times'

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Read this and you will feel as though you have lived in Africa. Blaine Harden's commentary manages to combine the complexity of the competing African political, economic, social, and tribal influences; Harden never generalises or simplifies, yet his journalistic style manages to convey the most complex of issues in accessible and seemingly simple terms. Moreover, despite often bleak subject matter, Harden's humour made me laugh out loud many times while reading. Best of all, Harden leaves one to draw one's own conclusions, raising issues but not forcing judgement or conclusion. One of the best books, of any genre, that I have ever read. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Blaine harden traveled for four years in Africa working as a journalist for the Washington Post. He combines travelogue writing with essays on the culture, history and contemporary issues of Africa. He is concerned with society, the people and the environment. The writing is concise, clear and moving and gives real insight into a world which is unknown to most. Highly recommended.
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By A Customer on 20 Nov. 2001
Format: Paperback
This is an amazing book. Having been a teenager in Kenya at the time that Harden focuses on, it was very interesting to read Harden's analyis of the S M Otieno case and the plight of International Aid in Turkana. He has alluded to intervention by the Kenya government at various points in the book, this appears to be somewhat unsubstantiated. I would have liked to read more discussion of why he says what he has. That would have given, what currently appear to be conspiration theories, some concrete basis.
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I have found some great reading about African culture and politics but this one is among the best. When I finished it I felt I had a better understanding of what people misleadingly call the "dark continent".
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