Africa by John Reader
A Biography of the Continent

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Synopsis

From the primeval cataclysms that formed the continent to the civil wars and genocide that ravage it today--a work of startling grandeur and scope that provides a remarkable panoramic history of Africa, by a deeply intelligent writer who has spent most of his adult life there.

We all originated in Africa, and no matter what our race, our most ancient relationship is with that continent. Reader tells the story of our earliest ancestors' adaptation to Africa's ferocious obstacles of jungle, river, and desert, and of how its unique array of animals, plants, viruses, and parasites has over millions of years helped and hindered human progress to a degree unknown anywhere else on Earth.

Illustrated with many of the author's own beautiful photographs, which capture the staggering diversity of human experience in every part of the continent--from the inland estuaries of the Niger and the rain forests of the Equator, to the deserts of the north and the high veld of the south--this book weaves together into a richly fluent narrative the rise and fall of ancient civilizations, the changing patterns of indigenous life over the millennia, the complex history of slavery, the devastating impact of European settlers, and the fragile reemergence of independent nations. John Reader has given us an extraordinary biography of an infinitely fascinating continent.
 

About John Reader

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John Reader lives in London.
 
Published January 1, 1997 by Hamish Hamilton. 801 pages
Genres: History, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Biographies & Memoirs, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Africa

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A grand attempt to illuminate the history of the "dark continent," using an almost stunning blend of disciplines from geology to anthropology to agronomy.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Africa: A Biography of the Co...

Publishers Weekly

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Ranging from the earliest known evidence of life on earth--6.6-billion-year-old fossilized bacteria--to recent upheavals in Rwanda and South Africa, this immensely rewarding synthesis is amplified by the author's deeply lyrical, quietly stunning photographs that evoke Africa's beauty and ancient ...

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Los Angeles Times

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In another book, "The Enigma of Arrival," Naipaul writes: "The Africa of my imagination was not only the source countries — Kenya, Uganda, the Congo, Rwanda;

Oct 17 2010 | Read Full Review of Africa: A Biography of the Co...

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