China's Second Continent
How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa
Howard W. French
This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
A New York Times Notable Book
Chinese immigrants of the recent past and unfolding twenty-first century are in search of the African dream. So explains indefatigable traveler Howard W. French, prize-winning investigative journalist and former New York Times bureau chief in Africa and China, in the definitive account of this seismic geopolitical development. China’s burgeoning presence in Africa is already shaping, and reshaping, the future of millions of people. From Liberia to Senegal to Mozambique, in creaky trucks and by back roads, French introduces us to the characters who make up China’s dogged emigrant population: entrepreneurs singlehandedly reshaping African infrastructure, and less-lucky migrants barely scraping by but still convinced of Africa’s opportunities. French’s acute observations offer illuminating insight into the most pressing unknowns of modern Sino-African relations: Why China is making these cultural and economic incursions into the continent; what Africa’s role is in this equation; and what the ramifications for both parties and their people—and the watching world—will be in the foreseeable future.
One of the Best Books of the Year at • The Economist • The Guardian • Foreign Affairs
Interesting but it feels more like a travelogue
An interesting read, much of it feels like a travelogue, but ultimately it’s a bit disappointing. French interviews a couple dozen or so government officials, NGO staff, business people, union reps, men on the street, even at one point transcribing a conversation he eavesdropped on at a nearby table in a restaurant. Little country-specific macro or continental data is published. There is one map of Africa found at the beginning of the book with French’s five routes marked on it that covered fewer than a dozen of Africa’s 53 countries. French’s thesis rests primarily on conversational and anecdotal evidence gleaned from his interviews and lacks serious rigor. Is the reader to triangulate the views and positions of those French talks to to arrive at the truth of the Chinese presence? No bibliography or index is provided.