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Descripción de editorial
Experience Africa's vibrant and volatile struggle at the crossroads between tradition and modernity . . .
INTO THE HOUSE OF THE ANCESTORS
"Rich . . . fascinating." --The New York Times Book Review
"A master of eyewitness description and of the telling interview, [Maier] has unearthed Africa's hidden heroes and heroines." --Financial Times
"Maier has written a sensitive and complex narrative. . . . excellent descriptions of the lives and experiences of both ordinary and extraordinary individuals in different parts of Africa." --Richard Leakey, The Times (London)
"A remarkable book. . . . It is no easy task to articulate an intangible undercurrent in an area so geographically large and culturally diverse, but Maier has succeeded admirably. Maier gives us hope that [the Africans] can rebound and even thrive. Highly recommended." --Library Journal
Although many books have portrayed the problems of today's Africa, Maier, former Africa correspondent for the Independent of London, takes a more hopeful view. His aim is not to sanitize the image of sub-Saharan Africa but to "celebrate the spirit" of ordinary people striving to better their world. Thus he describes trailblazers like a Ghanaian sociologist working to help the elderly, and he explains how Mozambique's once socialist government adapted to the spirit claims of traditional chiefs and healers. Taking issue with the widespread pessimistic view of "coming anarchy," he notes that a country like Sierra Leone has had democratic elections rather than descending into chaos. Yet Maier's sobering portrait of Rwanda acknowledges only a slim hope for peace and justice, and he laments the unrealized potential of behemoth Nigeria. This book is not comprehensive but anecdotal; France's enduring influence or Western policies toward Africa are hardly broached. But even if Maier seems Pollyannish at times, this is a reasonable counterpart to accounts that focus only on conflict.