Postmark Africa: Half a Century as a Foreign Correspondent

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Michael Holman's eye-witness reports on the state of sub-Saharan Africa for the Financial Times and other media provide rare insights into the region’s post-independence successes and setbacks. From his accounts of the atrocities committed by Rhodesian forces in the 1960s to his interviews with those who would lead Africa into its own future and assessments of how they actually performed—often in obituaries—Postmark Africa brings together a lifetime of running commentaries on a continent he grew up in, knows acutely and loves dearly. Written with the benefit of unique access, Holman’s writings still hold out hope for Africa, in spite of decades of disappointment at the structural mismanagement of the nations themselves, the destructive policies of donor countries and other funders, and the hateful legacy of colonialism.

ALEXANDER McCALL SMITH: “If you want to see what a good man in Africa has done, read this book. It contains profound observations of real and lasting significance on virtually every page …”

JOHN GITHONGO: "Throughout his career as a journalist and author, Michael has been a rebel with a clear cause. He has a seamless capacity to get under the African skin, and a ruthless insight for sniffing out what's working, even though it may not look it, and what's an utter waste of time, even though no one else will admit. He has brought this insight and unapologetic attitude in his quest for the truth to everything he has ever done, on and for Africa. All of it is informed by a deep sense of empathy for the land of his upbringing, warts and all, and a biting sense of humour …"

SIR MALCOLM RIFKIND: “This book should be read by anyone who not only wants to know the history of central and southern Africa but to understand its people, black and white. They are a fine people and in Michael they have had an honest, articulate and worthy champion, as rigorous, objective and professional in this book as he was in his journalism as Africa Correspondent for the Financial Times. He has an energy and an eloquence in recording not just what he knows or has analysed but also what he feels to be the reality of his homeland’s tragic experience both under white, colonial domination and the black-led governments that followed …”

ED BALLS: "Africa has no fiercer critic and no greater advocate than Michael Holman. Passionate, sometimes angry but also caring and often hilarious, Michael Holman once again delivers his trademark combination of beautiful prose and compelling story-telling. This book is both a delight and a tragic tale of hopes still unfulfilled …”

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