Moreover, Angry Wind merits a solid audience at the African desks of Western intelligence agencies. There’s trouble brewing...

ANGRY WIND

THROUGH MUSLIM BLACK AFRICA BY TRUCK, BUS, BOAT, AND CAMEL

An often scintillating if sometimes sluggish tour of the western Sahel, that narrow coast of dry land between the Central African rainforest and the oceanic Sahara.

Much of that country is ethnically black but culturally Arab, the product of nothing short of cultural imperialism among the Arabs, slave traders in the not-so-distant past. The Arab conquest of the Sahel is incomplete, writes Tayler (Facing the Congo, 2001, etc.), but ongoing and scarring. Why not, then, call it imperialism? Well, answers Tayler, “calling the presence of Arabs here unjust amounted to attacking Islam and was impermissible; hence the Africans suffered their anti-Arab grievances with downcast eyes.” Indeed, as Tayler travels through Senegal, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Chad, the open anger he encounters is almost always directed against America in the abstract (and sometimes against Americans, namely him, in the particular). The Sahelians’ anger is understandable, Tayler suggests. These poor regions have been badly used, left alone to suffer, and allowed to become failed states bound up as nations mostly out of geographic convenience during colonial times; and whereas France and England should properly feel their wrath, what the desert-dwellers see on television is America as anti-Islamic crusader. “To stop one man, Osama,” yells one Sahelian he encounters at a Chadian oasis, “you destroyed an entire country, Afghanistan—a country of the poorest people on earth. Is that manly—picking on those poor Afghans?” No empty rhetoric, that, and the Sahel, writes Tayler, is a fertile recruiting ground for al Qaeda; Osama bin Laden identified Nigeria as particularly ripe, sick as it is politically yet bursting with oil wealth. Not all of Tayler’s set pieces work, and his travelogue is sometimes as wearying to read as it must have been to research. Still, there are some fine moments here, and Tayler’s righteously indignant arguments against female circumcision should be required reading for the cultural-relativist set.

Moreover, Angry Wind merits a solid audience at the African desks of Western intelligence agencies. There’s trouble brewing in the Sahel, Tayler warns: Don’t say no one told you so.

Pub Date: Feb. 15, 2005

ISBN: 0-618-33467-X

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2004

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more