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Dust from our eyes: An unblinkered look at Africa [Paperback]

Joan Baxter

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Book Description

April 8 2010 1894987470 978-1894987479 2

Joan Baxter draws on more than two decades of living in and reporting from Africa to reveal that there is more to the continent than poverty and suffering, and far more to Western involvement than benevolent charity. Alternately funny, chilling, moving and disturbing, Dust from our Eyes is a fast-paced, passionate narrative told with journalistic accuracy and anthropological acumen.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 425 pages
  • Publisher: Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd.; 2 edition (April 8 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1894987470
  • ISBN-13: 978-1894987479
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #542,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


I learned an enormous amount from this fine book and am angrier than ever at the great damage so many western governments, institutions and businesses routinely inflict on Africans. Dust from our Eyes should be compulsory reading for all Westerners. Gerald Caplan, author of The Betrayal of Africa Before we blame Africans for the corruption, chaos and anarchy - across their continent, we should determine who the corrupters are, how they corrupt, and why they are permitted to continue. A course in Exploitation 101 might well prescribe Dust from our Eyes as its text. Judy Kennedy, The CCPA Monitor Even while tackling so many politically charged issues, Dust from our Eyes remains a deeply human book, with a narrative and a set of interviews running through every chapter. This is a compelling work that could change your perspective on Africa and the West's impact there. Joseph Howse, The Chronicle Herald --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Joan Baxter is a Nova Scotian author, journalist and anthropologist who now makes her home in Colchester County. For more than two decades Joan lived with her family in Africa, reporting for the BBC World Service, CBC Radio, Associated Press, Toronto Star, The Chronicle Herald and a host of other media.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Africa's True Friend Nov. 16 2008
By Jean Bertram - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Joan Baxter is a native of Nova Scotia who lived for more than two decades in Africa where she worked as a journalist reporting for the BBC World Service, CBC Radio, Associated Press and other major media while also raising her family. Dust From Our Eyes is her third non-fiction book about Africa and deserves the serious attention of anyone who cares about the people of Africa or seeks an answer to the reasonable question: After all the aid money that has been spent on Africa, why are so many of its people still so poor? Baxter lived for years in several of the west African nations considered to be among the poorest on earth including Mali, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, and Ghana. She got to know the people, their history and their culture, and came to appreciate their strength, their patience, their sense of humor. She also got to see first hand the stripping of valuable resources from these poorest nations - gold, diamonds, rutile, coltan, oil, uranium, timber - on terms that continue to enrich western-owned companies and co-operative African heads of state, while leaving the people impoverished and the land devastated, or even worse, contributing to the resource wars that plague so much of Africa today. I have read about these injustices before but Joan Baxter's close-up accounts show us the real people and the real land, leaving us with unforgettably vivid pictures of both. The author also helps us understand the failures of foreign aid as delivered through the IMF and World Bank - the major dams that dislocate poor villagers, moving them from their traditional homes to poorer land, carrying the hydropower produced electricity away to a distant city while the villagers get none; the aid that comes with the free trade string attached and requires these poor nations to allow their markets to be flooded with products like cheap American cotton, produced with generous subsidies, which then undermines the farming of cotton in west Africa, even though, ironically, the farmers there grow it much more efficiently than those in the US.

Dust From Our Eyes is a marvelous combination of hard-hitting, well-documented reporting and personal, emotional encounters with unforgettable African people. One leaves this remarkable book sharing Joan Baxter's feeling that Africa has much to teach us in the West and its people continue to share a kind of richness beyond the measureable, financial kind we in the West recognize. One also leaves it knowing Africa has a true friend in Joan Baxter.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get educated about Africa March 26 2010
By Kuassi Mensah - Published on Amazon.com
I heard about this book on NPR and got a copy from Amazon Canada.
If you want to get educated about Africa and understand why in spite of all the minerals and oil people still live in financially miserable condition, and why in spite of materially harsh condition people are joyful and happy to live, this is the book for you.

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