Top Book Review
THE FATE OF THE WEST: The Decl...

THE FATE OF THE WEST: The Decline and Revival of the World’s Most Valuable Political Idea by Bill Emmott

The West is premised on political and economic ideals that are under threat—from Beijing, from Moscow, and from Washington, D.C. Emmott (Good...
How China Escaped The Poverty ...

How China Escaped The Poverty Trap Yuen Yuen Ang. Cornell University Press. 2017.Reviewed Dungan Green

The macro-story on China is well-known, but always bears repetition. Emerging from the carnage of the Mao era, China in 1980 had a GDP of $193 per...
The Least Among Us

The Least Among Us

It is perhaps a sign of how far sub-Saharan Africa still has to go that the most vigorous — and certainly the best publicized — debate about its...
Book Review: Things Falls Apar...

Book Review: Things Falls Apart

Things Falls Apart is considered the alpha of English African literature. It is the book that brought the story from the ‘Dark Continent’ through the...
There was a country

There was a country

LSE’s Sakina Badamasuiy reviews the latest book by the Nigerian literary giant, Chinua Achebe. Must Africa haveTo come a third time? – “Biafra,...
Book Review: The evolution of ...

Book Review: The evolution of everything

Matt Ridley has made a discovery. The natural selection that Darwin described in The Origin of Species is only a particular example of a universal...
A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordi...

A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary men and women fighting extremism in Africa

In A Moonless, Starless Sky Alexis Okeowo weaves together four narratives that form a powerful tapestry of modern Africa: a young couple, kidnap...
An American Marriage by Tayari...

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

American novelist Tayari Jones’s portrait of a young African American’s wrongful incarceration, and its devastating impact on his marriage has beaten...
The First Muslim by Lesley Haz...

The First Muslim by Lesley Hazleton

Viewed through the lens of dogmatic perversions in the Soviet Union and China, communism is often seen as the antithesis of American society; an...
Book Review  Islam:beliefs and...

Book Review Islam:beliefs and teachings, Ghulam Sarwar, Muslim Education Trust, UK, 8th edition, 2016, 240 pages.

I can remember this was the standard textbook for high school students in the mid-1980s, and it was extremely useful as an introductory text on the...
The Entrepreneurial State: Deb...

The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths

In this trailblazing book on the role of government as both a risk-taking funder of innovation and a market creator, Mariana Mazzucato persuasively...
IN OUR PERILOUS, DIVIDED WORLD...

IN OUR PERILOUS, DIVIDED WORLD, COMPASSION IS IN OUR BEST INTEREST

In bookshops, many best-sellers are self-help manual with bold, glossy covers and such title as, ‘Do you want to be a millionaire?’, ‘Six ways to...
Book Review:  A Date With Dest...

Book Review: A Date With Destiny, Demba A. Jawo, Fulladu Publishers, 2019, 156 pages

Is this a memoire or an auto biography? When you read Demba A Jawo’s A Date with Destiny, you wonder if it is a full autobiography or a truncated...
In the Jaws of the Crocodile b...

In the Jaws of the Crocodile by Ray Ndlovu

It is impossible to understand recent political events in Zimbabwe without insight into the role of Emmerson Mnangagwa. The fall of Robert Mugabe and...
Diagnosing the new wave democr...

Diagnosing the new wave democracies of West Africa

Elections and Democratization in West Africa 1990-2009, Edited by Abdoulaye Saine, Boubacarr Ndiaye and Mathurin Houngnikpo, Africa World Press, 452...
A Review of Mariama Ba’s So Lo...

A Review of Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter

Published in 1980, Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter recounts the stories of two women and their husbands, lifelong friends living in Senegal during the...

‘A Date with Destiny’ by Demba Ali Jawo Launching Ceremony Saturday 23 March 2019, Paradise Suites Hotel, Kololi

Here is the bombshell: Demba Ali Jawo was a founder member of the People’s Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) and much...
When they go low, we go high: ...

When they go low, we go high: Speeches that shape the world and why we need them by Philip Collins

Tony Blair’s former speechwriter Philip Collins considers the greatest hits and why they matter, with orators from Elizabeth I to Abraham Lincoln to...
Book Review:  HowDemocracies D...

Book Review: HowDemocracies Die

Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt New York: Crown, 2019 Pp. v, 312. The current political climate across Western democracies, in particular the...
Book Review:  So Much Things t...

Book Review: So Much Things to Say The Oral History of Bob Marley

Among biblical quotations favoured by Rastafarians comes psalm 118: “The stone that the builders refused is become the headstone of the corner”, a...
Book Review:  FROM THIRD WORLD...

Book Review: FROM THIRD WORLD TO FIRST LEE KUAN YEW

Lee Kuan Yew was arguably the best statesman of the 20th Century. Lee’s claim to the title of best statesman of the 20th Century rests on his...
The Book of Joy

The Book of Joy

In their book about joy, Douglas Abrams interviews His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu over the course of a week they spent...
A Human Being Died That Night:...

A Human Being Died That Night: Forgiving Apartheid’s Chief Killer

It is said that to forgive is divine, but how does forgiveness fit in a country where a white government has systematically subjugated, tortured and...
Book Review - Saloum Sheriff J...

Book Review - Saloum Sheriff Janko, Jaliba Kuyateh: the cultural Revolutionary of Kora Music

AMC Press, 2018, 77 pages This is a biography. The book charts the life times of Jaliba Kuyateh, the King of Kora, music maestro, cultural...

Book Review: To Obama: with love, joy, hate and despair

By Jeanne Marie Laskas On Christmas Eve in 2014, Ashley DeLeon attempted to restrain her father, Rosendo DeLeon, while he shot up their family...
Book Review: Mansa Musa and th...

Book Review: Mansa Musa and the empire of Mali

P. James Oliver Oliver’s debut, about one of West Africa’s most powerful and charismatic leaders, delivers a vibrant mix of history and historical...

BOOK REVIEW: The Secret Barrister: stories of the law and how it is broken

Reviewed by Afua Hirsch A war crimes trial is stopped because the government has privatised the supply of interpreters, and the company selected...
So Much Things to Say:  The Or...

So Much Things to Say: The Oral History of Bob Marley

Among biblical quotations favoured by Rastafarians comes psalm 118: “The stone that the builders refused is become the headstone of the corner”, a...

Book Review Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End Atul Gawande

‘Being Mortal is not only wise and deeply moving; it is an essential and insightful book for our times’ Oliver Sacks There’s a Homeric hymn that...

Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End

Being Mortal is not only wise and deeply moving; it is an essential and insightful book for our times’ Oliver Sacks There’s a Homeric hymn that...
Book Review: The New Confessio...

Book Review: The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

Reviewed by Natalie Disque, Walden University by John Perkins John Perkins writes a bold, yet compelling, account of his personal experiences as an...
Book Review: Anatomy of the Sp...

Book Review: Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing

By Caroline Myss Over the years, I’ve been asked numerous times if I was familiar with Caroline Myss’s work. Inevitably, when I said no, the...
Nigeria: what everyone needs t...

Nigeria: what everyone needs to know

Rapid economic growth and improved governance across Africa in the twenty-first century are part of the “Africa rising” narrative and have renewed...

Book Review: Reviewed by Bill Gates

When Melinda and I went on our spring vacation, I encouraged her to pack a copy of Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. I had...
A  Brief History Of Time Intro...

A Brief History Of Time Introduction

By a matter of sheer luck or by divine providence, we, humans have landed in a place from where we can either look out at the cosmos and be humbled...
The Case for Impeachment By Al...

The Case for Impeachment By Allan J.Lichtman Reviewed By Edward Luce

Shortly after last year’s US presidential election, Allan Lichtman received a thank-you note from Donald Trump. The historian was one of the few...
Crimes Against Humanity:The St...

Crimes Against Humanity:The Struggle for Global Justice-Geoffrey Robertson

In ‘Crimes Against Humanity’ lawyer and human rights campaigner Geoffrey Robertson combines a passion for justice, an honest acceptance of unpleasant...
BOOK REVIEW: Barracoon by Zora...

BOOK REVIEW: Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston is best known for the classic ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’, a tale of African-American life in the early twentieth century,...
The Prison Letters of Nelson M...

The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela edited by Sahm Venter

This is a superbly-edited collection of the ANC chief’s prison letters, which paint a portrait of Mandela the family man, the political thinker and...

Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala

(Friday12th October, 2018 Issue) In 2010, UK rap artist Akala dropped the album DoubleThink, and with it, some unforgettable words. “First time I saw...
Taking Minutes of Meetings by ...

Taking Minutes of Meetings by Joanna Gutmann

Issued Friday 5October2018 Minutes are vital to the success of meetings. Attendees rely on them for information they may have missed, and they serve...
A Feast of Gambian poetry and ...

A Feast of Gambian poetry and prose

Hassoum Ceesay,(ed.)Bold Voices: a selection of Gambian Poems, Prose and Plays, Writers’ Association of The Gambia Publication, Unique Graphics...
The First Muslim by Lesley Haz...

The First Muslim by Lesley Hazleton

Viewed through the lens of dogmatic perversions in the Soviet Union and China, communism is often seen as the antithesis of American society; an...
BOOK REVIEW: Making Africa Wor...

BOOK REVIEW: Making Africa Work

Greg Mills, Jeffrey Herbst, Olusegun Obasanjo and Dickie Davis (editors) The following fast facts have been revealed in this book: the population...
Book Review:Teju Cole on A Hou...

Book Review:Teju Cole on A House for Mr Biswas by VS Naipaul a novel of full-bore Trinidadian savvy

Lively, funny and malicious, Naipaul’s 1961 novel is the story of a man who claws his way free of abject poverty, fighting his in-laws at every turn....
Book Review : Dissecting the J...

Book Review : Dissecting the Jammeh tyranny The Gambia under AFPRC-APRC Rule, 1994-2008, Abdoulaye Saine, Lexington Books, 2010

Professor Saine has been in the forefront of the fight to end the 22 years of tyranny under Yahya Jammeh, as head of many pro-democracy groups based...
Hassoum Ceesay, Founding Fathe...

Hassoum Ceesay, Founding Father: P.S Njie, a moral biography, Baobab printers, 203 pages, 2018.

Prolific Gambian historian Hassoum Ceesay’s fourth full length book titled Founding Father: P.S Njie, a moral biography, has just been published. The...
Book Review:MANDELA READING WE...

Book Review:MANDELA READING WEEK END AT TIMBOOKTOO

In 1964, a few months after Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) was jailed by the Apartheid regime, a small compendium of his most notable writings and...
Book Review - The Ark Before N...

Book Review - The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood by Irving Finkel

The story of the ark, and animals ‘two by two’, is so much older than the Bible: why was the myth appropriated? Where do the stories of the Bible...

Book Review: How the chicken crossed the world: the story of the bird that powers civilization

By Andrew LawlerReviewed By Rose Prince This book will make you respect the humble chicken Now just seen as a cheap source of protein, the...

Comey is unsparing in his disgust at Trump A Higher Loyalty by James Comey

The cacophony and chaos surrounding the White House have only grown in the 11 months since Donald Trump ordered the firing of James Comey. Like most...
BOOK REVIEW - China’s Second C...

BOOK REVIEW - China’s Second Continent: `how a million migrants are building a new empire in Africa

On a trip to Lusaka, Zambia, last year, I kept chasing an energetic and jittery Chinese man, the only staff member of a Chinese mining company...
Book Review : Why I’m no longe...

Book Review : Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race, by Reni Eddo-Lodge

The provocative title is hard to ignore, and so is the book’s cover. Seen from afar, it appears to be called Why I’m No Longer Talking About Race,...
Book Review: The Economics Ant...

Book Review: The Economics Anti-Textbook: A Critical Thinker’s Guide to Microeconomics

It was the perfect “natural experiment:” in April 1992, New Jersey’s minimum-wage was scheduled to rise from $4.25 an hour to $5.05, while...
Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy I...

Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy Is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth -- and How to Fix It

I have a soft spot for intellectual bomb-throwers and policy provocateurs. Perhaps it is because of my many decades working in financial markets:...
Book Review  Aid and Authorita...

Book Review Aid and Authoritarianism in Africa: Development without Democracy Edited by Tobias Hagmann and Filip Reyntjens

This is a wide-ranging volume which examines the intersection between the aid industry and African politics from a variety of perspectives. It should...
Book Review: Neither Devil Nor...

Book Review: Neither Devil Nor Child: How Western Attitudes Are Harming Africa,

How the West keeps Africa Poor and Unstable By Tom Young, OneWorld Publishing 2018 This new book is polemical. It is also an out of the box...
Everything Under the Heavens: ...

Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power

The rise of China has become the most important strategic challenge to the United States in the early 21st century. Buoyed by the world’s second...
Book Review: Comey is unsparin...

Book Review: Comey is unsparing in his disgust at Trump

A Higher Loyalty By James Comey The cacophony and chaos surrounding the White House have only grown in the 11 months since Donald Trump ordered...

Book Review: The Gambia under AFPRC-APRC Rule, 1994-2008, Abdoulaye Saine, Lexington Books, 2010

Dissecting the Jammeh tyranny Professor Saine has been in the forefront of the fight to end the 22 years of tyranny under Yahya Jammeh, as head of...
Book Review - A Short History ...

Book Review - A Short History of Nearly Everything

Bill Bryson What has propelled this popular science book onto all the bestseller lists? The answer is simple. It is superbly written. Author Bill...

Book Review: “The State of Africa – A History of Fifty Years of Independence” by Martin Meredith

Martin Meredith’s The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence is an unbiased chronological record of failed leadership in...
Book Review: Making Africa Wor...

Book Review: Making Africa Work

Greg Mills, Jeffrey Herbst, Olusegun Obasanjo and Dickie Davis (editors) The following fast facts have been revealed in this book: the population...
Book Review  Born a Crime: sto...

Book Review Born a Crime: stories from a South African childhood, by Trevor Noah

As host of “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah comes across as a wry, startled and sometimes outraged outsider, commenting on the absurdities of American...
So Much Things to Say: The Ora...

So Much Things to Say: The Oral History of Bob Marley

Among biblical quotations favoured by Rastafarians comes psalm 118: “The stone that the builders refused is become the headstone of the corner”, a...
CONGO: The Epic History of a P...

CONGO: The Epic History of a People By David Van Reybrouck Reviewed by J.M.Ledgard

On June 5, 1978, the Congolese dictator Joseph-Désiré Mobutu stood on a hot grassy bluff in the south of his vast country — then named Zaire — and...
Political Order and Political ...

Political Order and Political Decay by Francis Fukuyama

Francis Fukuyama’s Political Order and Political Decay is a wide-ranging examination of the factors giving rise to the golden trifecta of statecraft:...
The Price of Inequality

The Price of Inequality

America currently has the most inequality and the least equality of opportunity among the developed countries, writes Nobel Prize-winning economist...

Book Review: A nutshell biography of Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana

Forward Ever: The Life of Kwame Nkrumah, PANAF Books, 80 pages. This book is a summary of the illustrious life of Nkrumah who ruled Ghana from...
Book Review:A Brief History of...

Book Review:A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes

A Brief History of Time begins with a striking image and a wonderful true story: An elderly lady attended a public lecture given by an astrophysicist...

Book Review: IN OUR PERILOUS, DIVIDED WORLD, COMPASSION IS IN OUR BEST INTEREST Twelve Steps to a Compassionate life

In bookshops, many best-sellers are self-help manual with bold, glossy covers and such title as, ‘Do you want to be a millionaire?’, ‘Six ways to...
Book Review: A Review of Maria...

Book Review: A Review of Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter

Published in 1980, Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter recounts the stories of two women and their husbands, lifelong friends living in Senegal during the...
The Ark Before Noah: Decoding ...

The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood by Irving Finkel

The story of the ark, and animals ‘two by two’, is so much older than the Bible: why was the myth appropriated? Where do the stories of the Bible...
Book Review: How the chicken c...

Book Review: How the chicken crossed the world: the story of the bird that powers civilization

This book will make you respect the humble chicken Now just seen as a cheap source of protein, the chicken is given the reverence it deserves in...
Globalization and Its Disconte...

Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited, published November 2017

In this crucial expansion and update of his landmark bestseller, renowned economist and Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz addresses...
Book Review: Diagnosing the ne...

Book Review: Diagnosing the new wave democracies of West Africa

Elections and Democratization in West Africa 1990-2009, Edited by Abdoulaye Saine, Boubacarr Ndiaye and Mathurin Houngnikpo, Africa World Press, 452...
BOOK REVIEW: The unlucky conti...

BOOK REVIEW: The unlucky continent: How Africa’s riches have brought it mainly misery

The Fortunes of Africa: A 5,000-Year History of Wealth, Greed, and Endeavour. By Martin Meredith. “Do not talk to me of gold…[it] brings more...

BOOK REVIEW: Behind the scenes in Wollof marriage

Wollof Marriage: narratives and interpretation of motives by Tijaan Kamara, Daaraji Publishers, 2017, 62 pages This monograph of 63 pages deals...

BOOK REVIEW: It's our turn to eat - The Story of a Kenyan Whistle-Blower

Michela Wrong Michela Wrong has built a distinguished literary career telling stories of African corruption and Western complicity. A former Africa...

Book Review: Masood Khakil, Whispers of War

Masood Khakil, Whispers of War: an Afghan Freedom Fighters’ account of the Soviet invasion, Sage publishers, 2017 Fighting the Communist in...
Book Review: Rift - A New Afri...

Book Review: Rift - A New Africa Breaks Free by Alex Perry

Foreign correspondent and Newsweek contributing editor Alex Perry (Lifeblood) takes an ambitious and controversial approach to answering some of the...
Review: Homo Deus: A Brief His...

Review: Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow “The greatest scientific discovery was the discovery of ignorance.”

In January 2013 a 26-year-old named Aaron Swartz committed suicide in the United States. He was facing prison for hacking computers at America’s...
JAZZ APPRECIATION: HORACE SILV...

JAZZ APPRECIATION: HORACE SILVER - An Original Jazz Messenger

Picture: QUINCY JONES
As we continue to write about jazz, we always try to remind our readers about the link that exist between the melodious sounds of Africa and the jazz...
How Did Humans Get Smart?

How Did Humans Get Smart?

When Melinda and I went on our spring vacation, I encouraged her to pack a copy of Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. I had...
Book Review: Debriefing the Pr...

Book Review: Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein

John Nixon. Bantam Press. 2016. In Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein, John Nixon tells the fascinating story of Saddam...

The Dragon’s Gift, By Deborah Brautigam

Reviewed by Ian Birrell The Chinese invasion of Africa is, for many people, a simple morality tale with an obvious villain. For the past decade,...
DAVID AND GOLIATH:  Underdogs,...

DAVID AND GOLIATH: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants By Malcolm Gladwell & Reviewed by Joe Nocera

To judge by “David and Goliath,” Malcolm Gladwell’s favorite word is “we.” In fact, it’s been his favorite word since his first book, “The Tipping...
BOOK REVIEW: J.A. Rogers, Worl...

BOOK REVIEW: J.A. Rogers, World’s Great Men of Colour

(Friday, 29th September 2017 Issue) Touchstone Books, 431 pages This book every Gambian should read! This book seeks to decolonize the minds of...
Book review - Audacity

Book review - Audacity

Picture: A view on Obama’s White House tenuxre
How Barack Obama defied his critics and created a legacy that will prevail, Jonathan Chait, Customs House, 2017. This book by Jonathan Chait, a...
Book Review: Changing Times

Book Review: Changing Times

Picture: The Life and Times of Gambia’s great historian and cultural connoisseur
(Friday, 15 September 2017 issue) A West African Patriach Tells His-story, Conversations with Bakary Sidibe, Ulla Fels, Trediton, 2017, 213 pages. ...
BOOK REVIEW: DEFYING DICTATORS...

BOOK REVIEW: DEFYING DICTATORSHIP: Essays on Gambian Politics, 2012 – 2017

Prof Pierre Gomez Associate Professor of Comparative Literature Dean, School of Arts and Sciences The University of The Gambia Brikama Campus, P.O....
A nutshell biography of Kwame ...

A nutshell biography of Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana

Forward Ever: The Life of Kwame Nkrumah, PANAF Books, 80 pages. This is the fourth book we wish our readers to buy and read. This book is a...
The Case for Impeachment

The Case for Impeachment

Edward Luce Shortly after last year’s US presidential election, Allan Lichtman received a thank-you note from Donald Trump. The historian was one...
‘Daily Rituals’ Of The Brillia...

‘Daily Rituals’ Of The Brilliantly Creative

Picture: How Artists Work by Mason Currey
The Onion published an essay recently called “Find The Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your...
A Living Mirror:The Life of De...

A Living Mirror:The Life of Deyda Hydara, Alota Ahmed Alota, Demba Ali Jawo, The Point Press, 2007, 215 pages. The inspirational life of slain Gambian journalist Deyda Hydara

When this book first came out in 2007, few people dared to buy it or even read it in public. The authors therefore must have been extremely brave to...

The unlucky continent: How Africa’s riches have brought it mainly misery

The Fortunes of Africa: A 5,000-Year History of Wealth, Greed, and Endeavour. By Martin Meredith. “Do not talk to me of gold…[it] brings more...
Dissecting the Jammeh tyranny

Dissecting the Jammeh tyranny

The Gambia under AFPRC-APRC Rule, 1994-2008, Abdoulaye Saine, Lexington Books, 2010. Professor Saine has been in the forefront of the fight to end...
The Power of - I Am Not Your N...

The Power of - I Am Not Your Negro

Raoul Peck’s documentary brings to life James Baldwin’s urgent ideas about race in America, and documents a large part of the civil-rights movement. ...
ON A CAMEL MOVING FORWARD IN T...

ON A CAMEL MOVING FORWARD IN TIME

LEO AFRICANUS By Amin Maalouf Book review by ANTON SHAMMAS In 1992, when the New World celebrated the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s...
ON A CAMEL MOVING FORWARD IN T...

ON A CAMEL MOVING FORWARD IN TIME

LEO AFRICANUS By Amin Maalouf. Book review by ANTON SHAMMAS In 1992, when the New World celebrated the 500th anniversary of Christopher...
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