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From Cape to Cairo: One Man’s Trek Across Africa (Simon & Schuster)

From Cape to Cairo: One Man’s Trek Across Africa (Simon & Schuster)

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“While agreeing that travel is not what it was, writers like Duncan (Pedaling the Ends of the Earth, 1985) have set out to prove that provided you hop, skip, pedal, or skateboard, some of the old frisson may be regained… Botswana, the only bright spot in an otherwise--and unfortunately justifiably--gloomy account of the continent. Zimbabwe's existence is fragile, Zambia destroyed, Tanzania a basket case, Kenya slightly hopeful but with too many people, Sudan a tragedy almost on the scale of Ethiopia, and Egypt overpopulated, though bravely struggling to modernize. Duncan is imprisoned in Zambia, harassed by petty bureaucrats, sleeps and eats in unspeakable places, and endures the expected vagaries of weather and roads. The journey is redeemed by the kindness and generosity of strangers in every country, who share food and shelter with this st ranger in his lycra biking shorts and plastic helmet, an outfit that causes as much comment as his venture. A vivid if sobering account of contemporary Africa…”
Kirkus Reviews


Table of Contents:

1. South Africa: A Dry, White Season
2. Botswana: Hallowed Land
3. Zimbabwe: On the Brink
4. Zambia: Human Failings
5. Tanzania: The End of Something
6. Kenya: Once Upon a Time
7. Sudan: Fragments of Despair
8. Egypt: Nothing Is the Same

“Africa is a continent so saturated with human history that the bones of people a million years old sometimes appear in cracks in the earth. Yet modern Africa is the youngest of continents, barely older than I am at thirty. It’s fundamental history is being written at this very moment. Not the slow, incremental, predictable history of the West, but the raw-nerved history of beginnings. It is a continent  on the ragged edge, where everything – art, history, government, music, everything – is tenuous and unformed…”
Journal Entry, Lake Turkana, August, 1986

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