A Continent for the Taking by Howard W. French
The Tragedy and Hope of Africa

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In A Continent for the Taking Howard W. French, a veteran correspondent for The New York Times, gives a compelling firsthand account of some of Africa’s most devastating recent history–from the fall of Mobutu Sese Seko, to Charles Taylor’s arrival in Monrovia, to the genocide in Rwanda and the Congo that left millions dead. Blending eyewitness reportage with rich historical insight, French searches deeply into the causes of today’s events, illuminating the debilitating legacy of colonization and the abiding hypocrisy and inhumanity of both Western and African political leaders.

While he captures the tragedies that have repeatedly befallen Africa’s peoples, French also opens our eyes to the immense possibility that lies in Africa’s complexity, diversity, and myriad cultural strengths. The culmination of twenty-five years of passionate exploration and understanding, this is a powerful and ultimately hopeful book about a fascinating and misunderstood continent.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Howard W. French

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Howard W. French is a senior writer for the New York Times. After teaching at the University of Ivory Coast in the early 1980s, he began his journalism career writing about Africa for the Washington Post, Africa News, The Economist and numerous other publications. Since 1986, he has reported for the Times from Central America, the Caribbean, West and Central Africa, Japan, Korea, and now China. In 1997, his coverage of the fall of Mobuto Sese Seko won the Overseas Press Club of America's award for best newspaper interpretation of foreign affairs. French was born in Washington, D.C., and now lives in Shanghai with his wife and their two children.www.howardfrench.com
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 280 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Otherwise, Western governments hold Africa at arm’s length: “Serving up atrocities is a business of diminishing returns, and Washington, having experimented with so-called African solutions to African problems, silently recognized its failure and vowed to stay away altogether.” In a land sowed wi...

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Publishers Weekly

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While his insights into Zaire's Mobutu and Congo's Laurent Kabila are valuable, like many other writers on Africa French excoriates the "treachery and betrayal of Africa by a wealthy and powerful West."

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“With a new strategic vision wheeling into position in Washington—one based on fighting Islamic radicalism in Sudan, securing the lion’s share of Angola’s petroleum reserves for American oil companies and atoning for its criminal negligence during the Rwandan genocide—the White House anointing of...

Jul 28 2004 | Read Full Review of A Continent for the Taking: T...

The Atlantic

He is a former senior writer and correspondent for The New York Times, where he was bureau chief in Shanghai, Tokyo, Abidjan (West and Central Africa), and for Central America and the Caribbean.

Jul 01 2013 | Read Full Review of A Continent for the Taking: T...

The Atlantic

Sep 10, 2013.

May 21 2012 | Read Full Review of A Continent for the Taking: T...

Project MUSE

Without attempting to address the rich plurality of contemporary African cultures and identities as a counterpoint to limiting conceptions of an "authentic" Africa, however, French settles for themes all too familiar to media critics (and to readers of Fanon), such as the role of Tarzan in the sh...

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