It is as vast as the United States and so arid that most bacteria cannot survive there. Its loneliness is so extreme it is said thatmigratory birds will land beside travelers, just for the company. William Langewiesche came to the Sahara to see it as its inhabitants do, riding its public transport, braving its natural and human dangers, depending on its sparse sustenance and suspect hospitality. From his journey, which took him across the desert's hyperarid core from Algiers to Dakar, he has crafted a contemporary classic of travel writing. In a narrative studded with gemlike discourses on subjects that range from the physics of sand dunes to the history of the Tuareg nomads, Langewiesche introduces us to the Sahara's merchants, smugglers, fixers, and expatriates. Eloquent and precise, Sahara Unveiled blends history and reportage, anthropology and anecdote, into an unforgettable portrait of the world's most romanticized yet most forbidding desert.
The open ocean--that vast expanse of international waters--spreads across three-fourths of the globe. It is a place of storms and danger, both natural and manmade. And at a time when every last patch of land is claimed by one government or another, it is a place that remains radically free. With typically understated lyricism, William Langewiesche explores this ocean world and the enterprises--licit and illicit--that flourish in the privacy afforded by its horizons. But its efficiencies are accompanied by global problems--shipwrecks and pollution, the hard lives and deaths of the crews of the gargantuan ships, and the growth of two pathogens: a modern and sophisticated strain of piracy and its close cousin, the maritime form of the new stateless terrorism. This is the outlaw sea that Langewiesche brings startlingly into view. The ocean is our world, he reminds us, and it is wild.
Between the sixth and sixteenth centuries, trade flourished between sub-Saharan Africa and Arab cultures. Traders exchanged gold, slaves, cloth, and salt along the trans-Saharan routes. This trade was directly responsible for seismic shifts in African economies and the foundation of new empires. This book explores how this complex trade network shaped the history of Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.
A “hypnotic” novel about the bond between a remarkable African-American matriarch and her grandson in the 1950s South (Essence). Makeda Gee Florida Harris March is a proud matriarch, the anchor and emotional bellwether who holds together a hard-working African American family living in 1950s Richmond, Virginia. Lost in shadow is Makeda’s grandson Gray, who begins escaping into the magical world of her tiny parlor. Makeda, a woman blind since birth but who has always dreamed in color, begins to confide in Gray the things she “sees” and remembers from her dream state, and a story emerges that is layered with historical accuracy beyond the scope of Makeda's limited education. Her connection with Gray will shape his life for years to come. Part coming-of-age story, part spiritual journey, and part love story, Makeda is a universal tale of family, heritage, and the ties that bind. Randall Robinson plumbs the hearts of Makeda and Gray and summons our collective blood memories, taking us on an unforgettable journey of the soul. “Luminous and magical.”—Bernice L. McFadden, author of Praise Song for the Butterflies “Eloquent and erudite, Robinson's oft-times mystical coming-of-age saga teems with rich and evocative historical insights.”—Booklist “Robinson is not only exploring what it means to be black. His theme of knowing the past before planning the future applies to all cultures, all people. Pick up this odyssey of family drama, history and love, and be prepared to consider your own beginnings.”—Shelf Awareness
The northern Tuareg (the Tuareg of Algeria) - the nomadic, blue-veiled warlords of the Central Sahara - were finally defeated militarily by the French at the battle of Tit in 1902. Some sixty years later, following Algerian independence in 1962, they were visited by a young English anthropologist, Jeremy Keenan. During the course of seven years, Keenan studied their way of life, the social, political and economic changes that had taken place in their society since traditional, pre-colonial times, and their resistance and adaptation to the modernising forces of the new Algerian state. In 1999, following eight years during which Algeria's Tuareg were effectively isolated from the outside world as a result of Algeria's political crisis, Keenan returned to visit them once again. Following a further four years of study, he has written a series of eight essays that capture the key changes that have occurred amongst Algeria's Tuareg in the forty years since independence.
Selected as one of the best books of 2002 by The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Sun-Times Within days after September 11, 2001, William Langewiesche had secured unique, unrestricted, round-the-clock access to the World Trade Center site. American Ground is a tour of this intense, ephemeral world and those who improvised the recovery effort day by day, and in the process reinvented themselves, discovering unknown strengths and weaknesses. In all of its aspects--emotionalism, impulsiveness, opportunism, territoriality, resourcefulness, and fundamental, cacophonous democracy--Langewiesche reveals the unbuilding to be uniquely American and oddly inspiring, a portrait of resilience and ingenuity in the face of disaster.