Thursday, September 13, 2012

September 13, 2012 6:15 PM—A Continent for the Taking

I just finished another good book, A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa by Howard French.  Howard French was a journalist for The New York Times.  He was an Africa correspondent living in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.  He reported on many of the biggest stories in central Africa in recent history.  The book focuses mostly on Zaire (now known as the DRC) and Mobutu Sese Seko.  Zaire is the country French had been to the most times and he covers everything from the rise of Mobuto to his demise.

French uses this book to tell the story of Africa from a somewhat unbiased viewpoint; however, he also points out how the U.S. government treated many modern issues in central Africa.  He comments on the U.S.’s stance on many recent African leaders, including the current Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni.  He also touches on the genocide in Rwanda and the way the international community dealt with that (or how they didn’t deal with it).

Anyway, I would highly recommend this book.  It describes Africa in a way that I had never thought of before.  It also tells many horror stories that you may never here from a Peace Corps volunteer.  Howard French has described Africa’s history and problems in a way that can captivate even the most uniformed person when it comes to this continent.

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