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Publisher's Summary

Martin Meredith has revised this classic history to incorporate important recent developments, including the Darfur crisis in Sudan, Robert Mugabe’s continued destructive rule in Zimbabwe, controversies over Western aid and exploitation of Africa’s resources, the growing importance and influence of China, and the democratic movement roiling the North African countries of Tunisia, Egypt, and Jordan.

©2005 Martin Meredith (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jeff
  • Sonoma, Ca, United States
  • 03-08-14

Africa: Land of Hope and Horror

If you could sum up The Fate of Africa in three words, what would they be?

Hope, dissapointment, horror

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Fate of Africa?

The Chapters on the events in Rwanda and how they were misconstrued internationally was informative and incredibly disturbing. The level of cooperation with the genocidaires displayed by Rwandan church leaders was disgusting... an affront to religion itself. On top of all that we sent the belligerents billions of dollars in aid money.

What three words best describe Fleet Cooper’s performance?

Professional but forced

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Learning about the religious and demographic makeup of Nikgeria and the former Sudan makes it much easier to understand the violent conficlt that has been ravaging those countries for years. In many African states, an ethnically and culturally diverse group of people were forced to coexist within borders drawn by European imperialists. These countries were simply time bombs waiting to go off.

Any additional comments?

This is a great work of epic proportions. Meredith divides his history of the continent into periods beginning with the initial euphoria and hope of independence to the power plays of the Cold War era all the way up to the modern day. He focusses mostly on the personality of the leaders_Nkrumah, Haile Selasie, Nasser, Mobutu, Mugabe and Mandela to name just a few are covered extensively in the work. Meredith succeds in making The Fate of Africa into a story about human nature. The lesson that absolute power corrupts absolutely is one that many African states have learned the hard way. Because of this era/personality based approached (rather than a traditional geographical approach to history), I do think it can get confusing with all the jumping around from country to country, but one will eventually start to connect the dots and begin to see how events in one state led to changes in another. This is probably one of those books that would be easier to follow in print. One thing that helped me follow the events of the book was looking up most of these leaders online and connecting faces and maps with the story. The narrator must be commended for his comptency, Meredith's work is packed with words and phrases in various Romance languages as well as a plethora of difficult to pronounce African propper nouns. I would not have been able to even pronounce most of those words. However, I think most listeners will agree with me that many quotes in the books are read with a bit too much sarcasm. The narrator also ocassionaly slips into a lackluster imitation of an African accent when quoting African leaders. Unfortunately the prevalence of quotes in this book made this presentation annoying to listen to initially. However the story itself quickly sucked me in.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Incredibly wide-ranging

I had a lot of trouble finding a good audio book on Africa, but this is incredible. It spans the entire continent and gives a broad history since European colonization. The only thing missing is a conclusion that ties all the threads together and reminds you of who is where at present.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

So sorry I got from Audible instead of in print

Would you try another book from Martin Meredith and/or Fleet Cooper?

NEVER another book read by Fleet Cooper

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Fate of Africa?

The section on Nkwame Nkrumah after he became prez of Ghana is stunning and so sad.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

In every way possible. His pronunciation of French (and probably the other languages as well) is abysmal. He tries to use an accent when quoting Africans, which only serves to detract from the content. He almost spits out his words, reminding me of a radio show host with an agenda. After the fabulous narration in "Nightingale," this is a huge disappointment. I wish I could delete it in exchange for a Kindle version.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger, sadness, AND disappointment. By the time I finish, maybe more.

Any additional comments?

I've just finished 25%, but I am so unhappy with the narrator, I want to report it now.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Samori
  • New Orleans, La, United States
  • 06-24-15

Eurocentric view of Africa

Though the book was packed with information and research, it was certainly written from a European prospective.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Deserves to be heard

Any additional comments?

Having always had a general idea about the history of this continent, I decided to check the validity of my beliefs with this book. The book is both detailed and well written, though at times the unfamiliar names and similarity of sad fates makes it monotonous. That being said, it is a book that is easy to listen to - provided one takes breaks - and hard to listen to, because it is at times horrific.

It is a story that is painful, well written and performed, and that deserves to be heard.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Too pessimistic view of Africa

Would you listen to The Fate of Africa again? Why?

No too long

Would you ever listen to anything by Martin Meredith again?

yes

Have you listened to any of Fleet Cooper’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Very detailed information

Any additional comments?

Warning, this book requires to take medication to survive the 30 hours audio horror happened in Africa. You will come out with the view of never ever going there or living there. I just don't know how he came to view every thing in a negative light. I tried hard to bite my tongue but I had to speak out. I respect his point of view but totally disagree with it.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great overview of Africa

Really enjoyed it. Provided a good idea of how African history evolved. Different liberation movements. The big men. Through to today.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The book for which I've been waiting

Here we have decades of important information wonderfully reduced to a brief volume. The narration is good when it's not venturing into character quotes. Then, instead of ever sounding like either North Africans or Subsaharans, it always sounds like Johnny Carson, which does not work well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A concise analysis of Africa Contemporary History

This is a very comprehensive analysis of the political history of virtually every country in Africa since they gained independence from the Europeans. A central recurring theme of most African leaders is their greed, ruthlessness, nepotism and disregard of democratic principles, factors which have led most African countries down the road to perdition. I really enjoyed the well researched narrative of an immense historical tome. I have the print version of the book but i found it challenging to find time to read. With audible, I was able to complete it in 10 days mostly during my work commute. Recommended for all Africans and anyone one with an interest in African contemporary history. You won't be disappointed.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good overview of African History

The Fate of Africa provides a nice overview of modern African history.
Pros:
Good start to understanding and incredible complex Continent.
Handles dense subject matter in a fairly entertaining fashion.
Covers most modern countries of Africa.

Cons:
A western perspective and all that it entails.
The narration leaves much to be desired

This book will not make anyone an expert in any aspect of Africa but will allow readers to have basic understanding of the events that have shaped africa and hopefully lead to further studying in areas that interest them.