Free Read [Biography Book] ↠ Africa: A Biography of the Continent - by John Reader ↠
Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM By John Reader

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 PostIn 1978, paleontologists in East Africa discovered the earliest evidence of our divergence from the ape 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 PostIn 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
  • Title: Africa: A Biography of the Continent
  • Author: John Reader
  • ISBN: 9780679738695
  • Page: 490
  • Format: Paperback

Comments

Nathan Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
John Reader has an agenda. He loves Africa, a continent that has been misunderstood and misused by Westerners for centuries, and he wants you to love it, too. Reader approaches his “biography of a continent” with unbounded ambition and intelligence, gracefully synthesizing academic arguments from disparate fields to construct a portrait of humanity’s first homeland that is insightful and reverent. The scope is staggering, with detours into geology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, arche [...]
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Hana Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
Vast, kaleidoscopic--an ambitious tour through millions of years of African history and prehistory. There is so much to like and be impressed with here that I feel somewhat churlish rating it three rather than four stars, but the book suffers from its own ambition and, especially towards the end, from too scattered a focus. Still, for those looking for a thoughtful and intriguing introduction to a very big and complex land, Africa: A Biography of the Continent deserves to be well up on the TBR l [...]
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Jenny (Reading Envy) Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
In my attempt to read more from and about Africa, this was a year-long group read with the Great African Reads group. True to form, I kept with the schedule up until July, and found myself needing to read the second half this week. Can one book tell the story of an entire continent? Consider that the story of one empire's rise and fall takes six volumes (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire)! And then. Then I found that Reader, who is not himself African, starts at the very beginning. As in, [...]
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Bruce Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
This detailed but very readable work begins with a historical discussion of the geography of the continent, including continental drift, and moves quickly on to the begins of life, the first two chapters spanning billions of years in relatively few pages while providing an adequate and interesting outline of the topics. Reader then discusses changes in climate over millenia, the accompanying evolutionary changes, and the emergence of humans and the evidence that has accumulated to support our un [...]
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AC Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
Review to follow Excellent book, though. A thoroughly digested and thoughtful account of a million years of history Literally, a biography of the continent.
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Adam Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
Before I picked up this book, I had a relatively rich smattering of knowledge of Africa - particularly my trips to Sierra Leone and Tanzania and the reading I'd done associated with them. However, all these readings served to emphasize my lack of a broad, strong foundation of knowledge about African history. I was desperate for books by the end of my study abroad in Tanzania, which led me to browse the airport bookstore while waiting for a flight to Kilimanjaro, where I came across this enticing [...]
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Lauren Albert Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
Reader gives a very good overview of an enormous topic. The book is literally a biography of the continent, not just the people. So he gives an overview of the development of the earth and of Africa in particular. I do not agree with the extent of his "nature" winning over "nurture" argument but it is an interesting one.
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Tim Martin Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
_Africa: A Biography of the Continent_ by John Reader is a very well-named book, a through and engaging look at the epic story of this land, from its geological origins to its most recent political struggles. Though a thick book at 682 pages (plus appendices, endnotes, and bibliography), it is a wonderful read. The introductory section laments that Africa has been "woefully misunderstood and misused by the rest of the world," and that humanity does not properly "recognize its debts and obligatio [...]
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Mindy McAdams Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
One of the more interesting nonfiction books I've ever read — the subtitle of this book is accurate: "A Biography of the Continent." While anthropologists criticize it for leaving out some of the important archaeological finds, and political scientists/historians criticize it for failing to detail every coup and skirmish, I have no similar complaints. As a general reader, poorly educated in all aspects of Africa's past, I found fascinating new information in every chapter in this book.The reas [...]
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Kshitiz Goliya Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
Africa; the cradle of the human civilization. It is the land where three million years ago Humans originated and two million years thereafter, started walking on their feet. As someone curious about the history of this continent, discussed not very frequently in international affairs or even in our course books, I was expecting an introduction to its political history. That is what a history scholar would have been more attracted to.However, John Reader surprised and subsequently mesmerized me b [...]
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Malapata Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
Llegué a este libro sin tener apenas idea de la historia de África, y su lectura fue una experiencia enriquecedora. En sus ochocientas páginas John Reader intenta abarcar lo más posible, seleccionando los temas para dar una visión global de la historia del continente. En sus páginas oí hablar por primera vez de la expansión Bantú, de el olvidado reino de Askum, de como el clima y el entorno (y la mosca tse-tse) configuraron los primeros asentamientos. Luego asistimos a la llegada de los [...]
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Tim Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
An incredibly well-researched book on a very complex continent. John Reader begins at the beginning. Africa IS the beginning. The beginning of humanity, the cradle of all that is in the world today. The fact that the Western world has historically considered itself superior to the African continent is the tragedy of the human spirit. The damage that we in the Western world have done to the African continent will take many lifetimes for those original humans to overcome. The story is told from th [...]
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Andrew Niederhauser Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
I wish this system allowed half-stars. This book's merits are only slightly diminished by it's weaknesses, but a five-star rating is impossible. When I initially approached this, I anticipated learning about each individual nation as it was formed. I was pleasantly surprised at the sheer breadth of the work, including aspects of geology, evolutionary science, genetics, linguistics, and countless other specialized fields all collected in one sweeping narrative. From the construction of the contin [...]
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Siria Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
This is a big book with big aims: to tell, over the course of seven hundred pages, the story of sub-Saharan Africa from its geological formation through to the mid 1990s. Considering the magnitude of what he was attempting, Reader did well. It's obviously well-researched, cleanly written and accessible even for people like me, who know shamefully little about Africa. Yet I think the strain of compressing so much into such a small space began to tell on him after about the first two hundred and f [...]
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Mark Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
A truly incredible book. The author brings together geology, geography, history, economics, politics, linguistics and several other disciplines into a sweeping and breathtaking description of Africa. What can one say about a book which begins at 3.7 billion years ago as the continent forms, moves on to a "mere" 5 million years ago when the first humanoids are said to appear in Tanzania, describes how a mere handful of humans (maybe as few as 50) made the journey out of Africa 200,000 years ago t [...]
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Konstantin Kirilov Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
A tremendously informative book that IMO should be compulsive reading. The only issue I have is that it is dated, since the narrative ends around the mid 1990-s. Not sure if there is an updated version, but would love to read one either way. Highly, highly recommended!
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Ryan Murdock Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
I read this book in the lead up to my recent trip to Namibia. Reader provides a great broad-brush overview of African history from an Africa-centred perspective, drawing heavily on the evolution of hominids, geology and geography to paint a very different picture than what you read in most post-colonial modern history texts.Reader turns many widely-accepted notions of Africa on their heads. The competition for resources is seen as much more important than warfare, small peaceful communities as m [...]
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Brook Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
Not recommended - surely there are a few other books that better cover evolution, the geology of Africa, and its history and pre-history.The New York Times Book Review is quoted on the cover: " a masterly synthesis." A synthesis, yes, but not a masterly one. (Here I'd recommend "From Dawn to Decadence".)Reader does well with several parts (evolutionary theory, several ancient civilizations like Aksum, several European schemes like King Leopold II's Belgium) but could have used stronger editing t [...]
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Michelle Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
An amazing introduction to African history and politics. As other reviewers have mentioned, the breadth of the of the subject matter is simply amazing. Reader covers millions of years of history in just 682 pages, giving enough of an overview of the continent to get you started towards understanding the continent. I wish the end notes had been more extensive. I found myself turning to them, hoping for more information, and finding only a citation. And more/better maps would have been appreciated [...]
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Elyse Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
Honestly a great book - yes at times it felt a bit tedious, but the sheer amount of information contained in this book is staggering. I lived in East Africa for over two years and still learned much more from this book about the history of Africa than I did living there. It was great to be able to finally understand some of the things I witnessed and experienced in Uganda from a historical perspective. If I had any real criticism I'd say the book ends rather suddenly - I knew I was close to the [...]
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Chas Bayfield Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
Wow! What an epic book, all compiled pre Internet from shedloads of research. It's a staggering achievement and takes the reader from the geological age to the birth of the new South Africa. I never appreciated how appalling the effects of colonization were on Africa - slavery has truly stolen its thunder while costing vastly fewer lives. The tragedy of rinderpest is hard to contemplate and the horrors of the Rwandan genocide make tough reading. I have to admit knowing close to zero about this f [...]
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Emily Alp Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
This is one of my favorite books of all time. Helped that I read it while looking out at the Tugan Hills in Kenya from Lake Baringo. Still, it's a beautiful addition to the knowledge on international development. Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs and Steel), and Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens) are the other two that would be great to add to this perspective. I particularly love how Reader takes the first one hundred pages of the book to talk about the geology of the continent and the implications of that g [...]
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Chris Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
An essential primer on Africa, masterfully and affectingly written, for those who would know it and love it.
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Steven Wolfe Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
This is an astounding book. Beautifully written and incredibly wide-ranging. This is a model for how such a book should be approached.
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Max Carmichael Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
"Throughout the greater part of its evolutionary history, the human population of Africa has lived in relatively small groups, demonstrating that people are perfectly capable of living peacefully in small communities for millennia without establishing cities and states. Indeed, the most distinctively African contribution to human history has been precisely the civilized art of living fairly peaceably together not in states."Once you get past the introductory chapters, this is a big book that you [...]
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Fungus Gnat Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
After reading A Short History of the World by Geoffrey Blainey a couple years ago, I thought I’d try to focus my intent to read more history. Not that much more focus, given Africa is the second largest continent. But it was an attractive topic, because when I grew up, we learned hardly anything about African history prior to the European explorations. There was Egypt, and that was about it. Reader is interested in conveying the full story: He spends 300 pages on Africa before the Europeans. I [...]
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Foster Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
I only got through half of this one, because the library hardcopy was just too bulky to bring on my commute, but what I read was fantastic. A true labor of love by author John Reader, this is no quick history. He starts with the actual geologic creation of Africa, and then works from there. By the time I stopped, he had taken us to the establishment and dissolving of the Great Zimbabwe civilization in the 15th century. So, there is surely much left to read about.Even so, I thoroughly enjoyed wha [...]
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Christopher Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
Africa: A Biography of the Continent by John Reader is an unusual hybrid of a history book. There is, of course, the broad survey of African peoples and civilization from pre-history to the 20th century (to 1995) but the first 100 pages or so (1/6 of the text) -- with its discussion of plate tectonics and cratons, soil richness, early hominid evolution, language development, erect posture, etc. -- belong to a book on physical geography and biological anthropology, and justifies the book's subtit [...]
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Nicholas Whyte Sep 22, 2019 - 00:13 AM
nwhytevejournal/1172339ml[return][return]This came up in recommendations after I read Fage's History of Africa last year. It starts awfully well, with sections on African geology in the context of continental drift, and on the evolution of humanity in the context of climate change.[return][return]From then on I found it a bit patchy. Fage's book was good on the general ebb and flow of states and cultures; Reader prefers to take particular vignettes, and then is a bit frustrating in how he fits t [...]
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Africa: A Biography of the Continent By John Reader 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 PostIn 1978, paleontologists in East Africa discovered the earliest evidence of our divergence from the ape 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 PostIn 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

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  • Free Read [Biography Book] ↠ Africa: A Biography of the Continent - by John Reader ↠
    490 John Reader
  • thumbnail Title: Free Read [Biography Book] ↠ Africa: A Biography of the Continent - by John Reader ↠
    Posted by:John Reader
    Published :2019-06-20T00:13:33+00:00