Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles

Richard Dowden, one of the world’s finest Africa correspondents has penned a landmark book on life and death in modern Africa.

It takes a guide as observant, experienced, and patient as Dowden to reveal its truths. He combines a novelist’s gift for atmosphere with the scholar’s grasp of historical change as he spins tales of cults and commerce in Senegal and traditional spirituality in Sierra Leone; analyzes the impact of oil and the internet on Nigeria and aid on Sudan; and examines what has gone so badly wrong in Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Congo. Dowden’s master work is an attempt to explain why Africa is the way it is, and enables its readers to see and understand this miraculous continent as a place of inspiration and tremendous humanity.

Paperback, 553 pages, 2009.