Christopher Ondaatje

Developing the Dark Continent

The Shackled Continent: Africa's Past, Present and Future

By

Macmillan 280pp £20 order from our bookshop

ANYONE WHO WANTS to be reminded of the horrors of Africa, economic or otherwise, will be interested to read this intelligent but light treatise by Robert Guest, the Africa editor of The Economist. In The Shackled Continent he sets out to explain, as the jacket blurb neatly states, why ‘Africa is the only continent to have grown poorer over the last three decades’. In order to do so, he must answer a number of subsidiary questions: ‘Why are so many African nations at war? Why has Aids affected Africa so much more than any other region? . . . Why are so many African governments corrupt, inept and despotic? Why has foreign aid proved such a failure?’

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Why did the 'bold and determined' Empress Matilda never manage to become Queen regnant? Peter Marshall reviews a n… ,
    • From the Archive: Martyn Bedford on Ian McEwan's 'Atonement' ,
    • In 'Silenced Voices' reports the ongoing story of the human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been… ,
    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,