Altered States, Ordinary Miracles

Richard Dowden

Published: 6 June 2019
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 672 pages
ISBN: 9781846277030


Every time you try to say 'Africa is...' the words crumble and break. From every generalisation you must exclude at least five countries. And just as you think you've nailed down a certainty, you find the opposite is also true. Africa is full of surprises.

For the past three decades, Richard Dowden has travelled this vast and varied continent, listening, learning, and constantly re-evaluating all he thinks he knows. Country by country, he has sought out the local and the personal, the incidents, actions, and characters to tell a story of modern sub-Saharan Africa - an area affected by poverty, disease and war, but also a place of breathtaking beauty, generosity and possibility. The result is a landmark book, compelling, illuminating, and always surprising.

Updated for 2018, Africa remains one of the most comprehensive, intelligent and responsive works on the continent ever written.

About the author

Image of Richard Dowden

Richard Dowden was Executive Director of the Royal African Society from 2002 to 2017. Dowden spent a decade as Africa Editor of the Independent, and then another decade as Africa Editor of The Economist. Few writing in English now have had more experience of life as it is lived in a wide variety of African communities. He has made three television documentaries on Africa, for the BBC and Channel 4. More about the author

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