COUNTRY Books and Travel Guides

Riding the Demon : On the Road in West Africa
It's incredible that Chilson manages to convey the entire culture of Niger (as well as incidental discussions of its history during French colonialism) through his reporting of his travels with several bush taxi drivers and how they manage their lives and the lives of their passengers on the road. Americans often think that we live in a car culture and have a love/hate relationship with our overdependency on cars. I challenge anyone to read this book and not come away thinking that traffic problems and reckless driving in our country are at best inconveniences compared to the literal hell in Niger. Here is a country where a highway patrol is manned by the military and is funded almost entirely through bribes extorted at road checks; where automobiles are literally pieced together with wreckage from the hundreds of near daily, fiery crashes that seem to line the Nigerien roads the way weeds and garbage line our highways; where talismans to ward off the road demons that lurk in the night are carried by everyone - not out of superstition - but in an earnest belief that one may not make it to the end of one's journey without them. Utterly fascinating, expertly and cleanly written, this book is an eye-opening reading experience.---Customer Review
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Alhaji : A Peace Corps Adventure in Nigeria
A young woman travels to Africa. As a teacher in the Peace Corps, she comes of age, falling in love and having adventures. Having grown up in the segregated South of the United States, finding herself surrounded by Africans, whose greeting for her translated Peeled One, she had some adjustments to make. She learned to live with people who were not racist, and who were hospitable and kind. But by the time she came back to America, she was changed forever, and the second culture shock was finding...
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