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Africa: A Biography of the Continent Paperback – September 7, 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 219 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Awe-inspiring . . . a masterly synthesis."
--The New York Times Book Review

"Deeply penetrating, intensely thought-provoking and thoroughly informed . . . one of the most important general surveys of Africa that has been produced in the last decade." --The Washington Post

In 1978, paleontologists in East Africa discovered the earliest evidence of our divergence from the apes: three pre-human footprints, striding away from a volcano, were preserved in the petrified surface of a mudpan over three million years ago. Out of Africa, the world's most ancient and stable landmass, Homo sapiens dispersed across the globe. And yet the continent that gave birth to human history has long been woefully misunderstood and mistreated by the rest of the world.

In a book as splendid in its wealth of information as it is breathtaking in scope, British writer and photojournalist John Reader brings to light Africa's geology and evolution, the majestic array of its landforms and environments, the rich diversity of its peoples and their ways of life, the devastating legacies of slavery and colonialism as well as recent political troubles and triumphs. Written in simple, elegant prose and illustrated with Reader's own photographs, Africa: A Biography of the Continent is an unforgettable book that will delight the general reader and expert alike.

"Breathtaking in its scope and detail." --San Francisco Chronicle

From the Back Cover

"Awe-inspiring . . . a masterly synthesis."
--"The New York Times Book Review
"Deeply penetrating, intensely thought-provoking and thoroughly informed . . . one of the most important general surveys of Africa that has been produced in the last decade." --"The Washington Post
In 1978, paleontologists in East Africa discovered the earliest evidence of our divergence from the apes: three pre-human footprints, striding away from a volcano, were preserved in the petrified surface of a mudpan over three million years ago. Out of Africa, the world's most ancient and stable landmass, Homo sapiens dispersed across the globe. And yet the continent that gave birth to human history has long been woefully misunderstood and mistreated by the rest of the world.
In a book as splendid in its wealth of information as it is breathtaking in scope, British writer and photojournalist John Reader brings to light Africa's geology and evolution, the majestic array of its landforms and environments, the rich diversity of its peoples and their ways of life, the devastating legacies of slavery and colonialism as well as recent political troubles and triumphs. Written in simple, elegant prose and illustrated with Reader's own photographs, Africa: A Biography of the Continent is an unforgettable book that will delight the general reader and expert alike.
"Breathtaking in its scope and detail." --"San Francisco Chronicle

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Vintage (September 7, 1999)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 816 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 067973869X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0679738695
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.62 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.14 x 1.63 x 7.93 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 219 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
219 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Top reviews from other countries

Jean Michel
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating and Rich Historical Overview of Africa
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 6, 2018
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6 people found this helpful
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Alexandra Star
5.0 out of 5 stars A Complete History
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 18, 2020
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a most comprehensive history of the African continent
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 9, 2020
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turkishdisco
5.0 out of 5 stars Africa: A Biography of the Continent
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 21, 2009
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10 people found this helpful
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bookworm
3.0 out of 5 stars not quite what i was expecting, i thought it ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 29, 2016
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