A New Africa Breaks Free
By Alex Perry
A vivid and provocative look at how the world gets Africa wrong, and how a resurgent Africa is forcing us to think again - updated with a new preface for the paperback
Taking the Great Rift Valley - the geological fault that will eventually tear Africa in two - as his central metaphor, Alex Perry explores the split between a resurgent Africa and a world at odds with its rise. Africa has long been misunderstood - and abused - by outsiders. Perry travelled the continent for most of a decade, meeting with entrepreneurs and warlords, professors and cocaine smugglers, presidents and jihadis, among many others.
Opening with a devastating investigation into a largely unreported war crime in Somalia in 2011, he finds Africa at a moment of furious self-assertion. This is a remade continent, defiantly rising from centuries of oppression to become an economic and political titan: where cash is becoming a thing of the past, where astronomers are unlocking the origin of life and where, twenty-five years after Live Aid, Ethiopia's first yuppies are traders on an electronic food exchange. Yet, as Africa finally wins the substance of its freedom, it must confront the three last false prophets of Islamists, dictators and aid workers, who would keep it in its bonds.
Alex Perry was TIME magazine's bureau chief in Africa until 2013. He frequently returns to Africa, and writes for a number of publications including NEWSWEEK, for which he is a contributing editor. In 2007, after being arrested and jailed in Zimbabwe, he was convicted of being 'a determined and resourceful journalist'. He is the author of FALLING OFF THE EDGE: GLOBALISATION, WORLD PEACE AND OTHER LIES and LIFEBLOOD: HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD, ONE DEAD MOSQUITO AT A TIME, as well as several ebooks on Africa, the Europe and the Middle East. He lives with his family in Hampshire.
www.alex-perry.com | @PerryAlexJ
- Other details
- Publication date:
13 Jul 2017
- Page count:
An epic, rich, endlessly surprising narrative of a fast-changing Africa by one of the few Western journalists to have spent enough time there to understand it. Calls to mind the best African writing of Ryszard Kapuscinski — Douglas Rogers, author of THE LAST RESORT
In this stunning book about the past, present, and future of Africa, foreign correspondent Perry (who's written for Time and Newsweek) achieves the seemingly impossible: he writes about the continent from a Western perspective without trying to define Africa to the West, inviting Africans to speak directly to his readers...Perry examines widely discussed issues affecting Africa (including famine, AIDS, humanitarian aid, terrorism, corruption, and Chinese influence), always mindful of the bearing each has on Africa's future. Along the way, Perry bumps into George Clooney in South Sudan, watches Robert Mugabe speak to a crowd in Zimbabwe, and confronts Jacob Zuma in South Africa. The stories he tells, of average Africans trying to carve out a better life, have the vividness of fiction. Perry also exposes the flaws of large-scale humanitarianism in Africa, addressing the inflated claims made for its success and its often counterproductive strategies. Candid, smart, and self-aware, this work is an impressive accomplishment that does more to give Western readers context for Africa's current condition than any book in recent memory. — Publishers Weekly - USA