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West

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  1. 13.5 hrs • 4/7/2015 • Unabridged

    A gripping work of reportage that, for the first time, tells the story of “Chucky” Taylor, a young American who lost his soul in Liberia, the country where his African father was a ruthless warlord and dictator Chucky Taylor was in many ways an average American kid. Growing up in Florida, he had friends, a high school sweetheart, and some brushes with the law. But then, in 1992, at age fifteen, he traveled to Liberia to meet his estranged father, Charles Taylor—the warlord and future president of Liberia. Adrift in a strange, underdeveloped country, Chucky became the commander of the infamous Anti-Terrorist Unit, aka “Demon Forces.” Suddenly powerful amidst the lawlessness of his father’s rule, any semblance of morality vanished. The savagery and pointlessness of his crimes shocked even his brutal father. Fleeing Liberia as his father’s government fell, Chucky was caught sneaking into the United States and became the first American convicted of the war crime of torture. Now Johnny Dwyer’s deeply researched book tells not just the riveting story of Chucky Taylor and his family but also of Liberia, a nation which only recently has found reason to hope for the future.

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    American Warlord

    13.5 hrs • 4/7/15 • Unabridged
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  2. 17.6 hrs • 10/8/2013 • Unabridged

    In early November 1834, an aristocratic young couple from Savannah and South Carolina sailed from New York and began a seventeen-year odyssey in West Africa. Leighton and Jane Wilson sailed along what was for them an exotic coastline, visited cities and villages, and sometimes ventured up great rivers and followed ancient paths. Along the way they encountered not only many diverse landscapes, peoples, and cultures but also many individuals on their own odysseys—including Paul Sansay, a former slave from Savannah; Mworeh Mah, a brilliant Grebo leader, and his beautiful daughter, Mary Clealand; and the wise and humorous Toko in Gabon. Leighton and Jane Wilson had freed their inherited slaves and were to become the most influential American missionaries in West Africa during the first half of the nineteenth century. While Jane established schools, Leighton fought the international slave trade and the imperialism of colonization. He translated portions of the Bible into Grebo and Mpongwe and thereby helped to lay the foundation for the emergence of an indigenous African Christianity. The Wilsons returned to New York because of ill health, but their odyssey was not over. Living in the booming American metropolis, the Wilsons welcomed into their handsome home visitors from around the world as they worked for the rapidly expanding Protestant mission movement. As the Civil War approached, however, they heard the siren voice of their Southern homeland calling from deep within their memories. They sought to resist its seductions, but the call became more insistent and, finally, irresistible. In spite of their years of fighting slavery, they gave themselves to a history and a people committed to maintaining slavery and its deep oppression—both an act of deep love for a place and people and the desertion of a moral vision. A sweeping transatlantic story of good intentions and bitter consequences, By the Rivers of Water reveals two distant worlds linked by deep faiths.

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    By the Rivers of Water by Erskine Clarke

    By the Rivers of Water

    17.6 hrs • 10/8/13 • Unabridged
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  3. 7.7 hrs • 8/5/2008 • Unabridged

    This is how wars are fought now by children, hopped up on drugs, and wielding AK-47s. In the more than fifty violent conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers.  Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But it is rare to find a  first-person account from someone who endured this hell and survived. In A Long Way Gone Beah, now twenty-six years old, tells a riveting story in his own words: how, at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. This is a rare and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.

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    A Long Way Gone

    7.7 hrs • 8/5/08 • Unabridged
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  4. 8.6 hrs • 9/15/2006 • Unabridged

    Equatorial Guinea is a tiny country roughly the size of the state of Maryland. Humid, jungle covered, and rife with unpleasant diseases, natives call it Devil Island. Its president in 2004, Obiang Nguema, had been accused of cannibalism, belief in witchcraft, mass murder, billion-dollar corruption, and general rule by terror. With so little to recommend it, why in March 2004 was Equatorial Guinea the target of a group of salty British, South African and Zimbabwean mercenaries, travelling on an American-registered ex-National Guard plane specially adapted for military purposes, that was originally flown to Africa by American pilots? The real motive lay deep below the ocean floor: oil. In The Dogs of War, Frederick Forsyth effectively described an attempt by mercenaries to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea—in 1972. And the chain of events surrounding the night of March 7, 2004, is a rare case of life imitating art—or, at least, life imitating a 1970s thriller—in almost uncanny detail. With a cast of characters worthy of a remake of Wild Geese and a plot as mazy as it was unlikely, The Wonga Coup is a tale of venality, overarching vanity, and greed whose example speaks to the problems of the entire African continent.

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    The Wonga Coup

    8.6 hrs • 9/15/06 • Unabridged
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  5. 2.6 hrs • 2/14/2006 • Unabridged

    With a culture dating back to at least 700 BC, West Africa has a long and rich history. British influence after the sixteenth century, and especially in the eighteenth century, changed the region’s course. By 1967, Nigeria was at war with itself, with the “Republic of Biafra” produced in Nigeria’s eastern region. Over a million people perished. This is the story of Nigeria’s struggle, which typifies the history and outlook of the West African region. The World’s Political Hot Spots series explains the basis of conflicts in some of the world’s most politically sensitive areas. Many of these regions are in today’s headlines, and tensions recently have become violent in virtually all of them. Each presentation covers up to ten centuries of background, revealing how and why today’s problems occur.

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    Nigeria and West Africa by Wendy McElroy

    Nigeria and West Africa

    Produced by Pat Childs
    2.6 hrs • 2/14/06 • Unabridged
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  6. 7.0 hrs • 1/1/2005 • Unabridged

    The true story of the events that inspired the feature film Blood Diamond First discovered in 1930, the diamonds of Sierra Leone have funded one of the most savage rebel campaigns in modern history. These “blood diamonds” are smuggled out of West Africa and sold to legitimate diamond merchants in London, Antwerp, and New York, often with the complicity of the international diamond industry. Eventually, these very diamonds find their way into the rings and necklaces of brides the world over. Blood Diamonds is the gripping story of how diamond smuggling works, how the rebel war has effectively destroyed Sierra Leone and its people, and how the policies of the diamond industry—institutionalized in the 1880s by the De Beers cartel—have allowed it to happen. Award-winning journalist Greg Campbell traces the deadly trail of these diamonds, many of which are brought to the world market by fanatical enemies. The repercussions of diamond smuggling are felt far beyond the poor and war-ridden country of Sierra Leone, and the consequences of overlooking this African tragedy are both shockingly deadly and unquestionably global.

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    Blood Diamonds by Greg Campbell

    Blood Diamonds

    7.0 hrs • 1/1/06 • Unabridged
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  7. 2 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (2)
    9.1 hrs • 1/1/2005 • Unabridged

    Leymah Gbowee was one of three women to receive the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize As a young woman growing up in Africa, seventeen-year-old Leymah Gbowee was crushed by a savage war when violence reached her native Monrovia, depriving her of the education she yearned for and claiming the lives of relatives and friends. As war continued to ravage Liberia, Gbowee’s bitterness turned to rage-fueled action as she realized that women bear the greatest burden in prolonged conflicts. Passionate and charismatic, Gbowee was instrumental in galvanizing hundreds, if not thousands of women in Liberia in 2002 to force a peace in the region after twelve years of war. She began organizing Christian and Muslim women to demonstrate together, founding Liberian Mass Action for Peace, launching protests and even a sex strike. Gbowee’s memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers, chronicles the unthinkable violence she’s faced throughout her life and the peace she has helped broker by empowering hundreds of her countrywomen and others around the world to take action and takes listeners along on her continuing journey as she harnesses the power of women to bring her country peace, saves herself, and changes history.

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    Mighty Be Our Powers by Leymah Gbowee

    Mighty Be Our Powers

    By Leymah Gbowee, with Carol Mithers
    9.1 hrs • 1/1/06 • Unabridged
    2 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (2)
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