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The Rift: A New Africa Breaks Free

Alex Perry

2 Reviews

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Sub-Saharan Africa, Prose: non-fiction, African history, Politics & government

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.

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Praise for The Rift: A New Africa Breaks Free

  • 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 - author of THE LAST RESORT

  • Stunning . . . 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

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Alex Perry

Alex Perry is an award-winning foreign correspondent who has covered more than 30 wars, including Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. He was TIME magazine's bureau chief in Africa until 2013 and writes for a number of publications including NEWSWEEK, for which he is a contributing editor. He is the author of THE GOOD MOTHERS, THE RIFT: A NEW AFRICA BREAKS FREE, 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 is also the co-author of LONG SHOT: MY LIFE AS A SNIPER IN THE FIGHT AGAINST ISIS with Azad Cudi.

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