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Angry Wind: Through Muslim Black Africa by Truck, Bus, Boat, and Camel Hardcover – Bargain Price, February 15, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
In the best travel-writing tradition, Angry Wind recounts an arduous journey, revealing the hardships of roughing it on the backroads of some of the world's poorest countries. In the region just south of the Sahara, the Sahel, traveling overland from Chad through Nigeria, Niger and Mali, the author provides wonderful insight into this seldom visited and often misunderstood part of the world. In the complicated post 9/11 world, America is often seen as the aggressor, especially in Muslim countries, and Tayler is frequently the target of animosity when the people he meets learn his nationality. My hat is off to him for overlooking some of the harsh words thrown his way and trying to understand the motivation of the inhabitants of this arid region. It helps that Tayler is fluent in French and Arabic, two languages that see him through quite a few sticky situations.
In addition to learning a lot about the Sahel I very much appreciated Tayler's descriptions of the people and the dire situations they struggle to survive in. Many of the towns and cities he visits eke out a hand-to-mouth existence; daily survival is very much a challenge that we in the West can't begin to comprehend. The filth, poverty and malnutrition serve to color the people's view of the world and, according to the author, provide a ripe breeding ground for Islamic extremism.Read more ›
Jeffrey Tayler must have had this saying in his mind when embarking on his extraordinary journey across the Sahel from Northern Chad to Senegal on the Atlantic Coast. His book follows in the footsteps of famous explorers of the Sahara/Sahel in centuries past, starting with Ibn Battuta and Leo Africanus to Mungo Park and Heinrich Barth. Tayler deserves an honoured place among them.
An experienced traveler in difficult terrains, as described in previous books, he set himself an unusually challenging itinerary. He trekked mainly through remote rural areas at the southern edge of the Sahara, relying on local transport and local people for assistance in his quest. The two-month excursion took place in early 2003 (prior to the invasion of Iraq) but the shadow of 9/11 confronted him everywhere, with varying degrees of vehemence. One of his objectives, in fact, had been to explore the reactions of local people to the conflicts between his home country, USA, and this part of Africa that is predominantly Muslim. He wanted to hear their concerns and how they judged American politics and treated an American in their midst. His fluency in Arabic and French as well as familiarity with Arab and West African Muslim cultures were essential preconditions for this adventure.
And it was an adventure in all respects: threat of bandits, lack of safe food and water, breaking down vehicles, military and border bureaucrats' attempts to block his way. He followed far-flung desert tracks into regions foreigner had rarely ventured to enter. Chad is not on tourist maps, nor is the northern region of Nigeria. Neither is Niger, the second poorest country in the world.Read more ›
This book is just as accurate a camera as Blood River. Both books lay bare the absolutely wretched condition of Africa there was no flinching or attempt to prettify things....although the joie de vivre scenes at the Touareg camp outside Timbuktu in this book seemed cartoonish and incongruous and am so glad the rest of the book sticks to the facts how ever horrible they may be.
I could have done without the stock slavery and whitey caused it all that Tayler ends the book with but it is mercifully short and you get the impression that he doesn't completely buy that...e.g. Niger could have farms but the lazy attitude of the men prevents it. This is part of the liberal landscape these authors emerged from probably can't get it published without adding these PC elements.
Also while adding the up the few negatives I must add his crusade against female genital circumcision. I know what it is I don't need graphic details. However to his credit he gives the local attitude about the matter and opposing it is hopeless. The 2 aid workers (I find it amusing when these authors meet what they don't like--usually competition) had it right--drop it. He just makes them look wise.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well written, and a great portrayal of a journey among peoples most of us know nothing about.Published 8 hours ago by D. Gibson
Almost half of the book is spent in the first country visited (Chad), and most of the other countries got much less page time. Read morePublished 1 month ago by NE Jon
"Angry Wind" is a brief travelogue of Jeffrey Tayler's trip to Chad, Nigeria, Niger, and Mali. Read morePublished 20 months ago by M.B.
Jeffrey Tayler makes a passing reference to Franz Fanon's classic cri de coeur, The Wretched of the Earth in this account of his travels through the Sahel region of Africa. Read morePublished on June 7, 2013 by John P. Jones III
Angry Wind: Through Muslim Black Africa by Truck, Bus, Boat and Camel is an impressive and highly engaging book that documents Mr. Taylor's adventure in Africa's Sahel region. Read morePublished on May 24, 2012 by Jason Barry
Angry Winds was so enjoyable that I had to force myself to put the book down. It's an edge of your seat book for travel enthusiasts.Published on January 14, 2012 by Michael B
Contemporary adventure with some timely historical perspective for us "not so well informed" on African colonial history and once again the folly of empire building and the... Read morePublished on May 7, 2011 by Bob Beck