the Economist’s books of the year: what about Africa?

Last year I posted about books dealing with Africa in the Economist’s list of Books of the Year.  Four dealt with Africa, and I have read two: both worthwhile.

Here are the Africa books in this year’s list: only two!

Through the Darkness: A Life in Zimbabwe. By Judith Garfield Todd. 472 pages

A harrowing tale of courage and betrayal by a white heroine of the liberation struggle against Ian Smith who has been punished (and stripped of her citizenship) with extraordinary vengefulness by Robert Mugabe for speaking out about the regime’s abuses of power.

The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It

By Paul Collier. Oxford University Press; 224 pages
Crammed with statistical nuggets and common sense, this book, by an economics professor at Oxford University, should be compulsory reading for anyone embroiled in the thankless business of trying to pull people out of the pit of poverty.

I read the latter and quite enjoyed it (here are my thoughts), although Bill Easterly makes a very good critique (too bad he never feels very constructive).

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