What I’ve been reading

  1. Hotel Africa, by G. Pascal Zachary. Gregg Zachary’s one of my favorite foreign correspondents. See a WSJ and NY Times article not about human suffering and ancient ethnic hatreds in Africa? A good chance it’s his. This is his book. Worth reading.
  2. Africa since 1940, by Frederick Cooper. I’ve been boning up on my African history for teaching purposes. Unlike the big political economists, who write mostly monocausal books, historians like Cooper see a more complex historical process. This is both satisfying and unsatisfying at the same time–unsatisfying in this book if only because the threads are sometimes hard to follow. Most books, however, present a caricature of colonialism, decolonization, and the rise of the gatekeeper states. This is one of the few that does not.
  3. Among Others, by Jo Walton. Bought on Tyler Cowen’s recommendation, who professed to love this book. I liked it a lot. I cannot think of a good description, other than it is the polar opposite of Harry Potter. But that is a bad description.
  4. Call for the Dead, by John Le Carre. I am a complete sucker for Le Carre before the Cold War. (Don’t even get me started on his post-Communist Africa kick though.) Call for the dead just came out on Kindle, and that led to a late night this week.