From Cape to Cairo: An African Odyssey

David Ewing Duncan, Author Grove Press $19.95 (330p) ISBN 978-1-55584-045-7
A leisurely, impressionistic report of his bicycle trek from Cape Town to Cairo between April 1986 and June 1987, Duncan's travelogue portrays a continent in deep trouble. Against a background of escalating violence, a Boer farmer told the bicyclist that apartheid was immoral and was ruining South Africa. In an interview in Zambia, president Kenneth Kaunda confessed his belief that centralized socialism breeds corruption. War-torn, debt-ridden Sudan, where Arabs and blacks fought each other with U.S. jets and Russian missiles, struck Duncan as ``an utter disaster.'' In Egypt he found crushing overpopulation, omnipresent dust, but also a knack for urban living. His serendipitous cross-section of modern Africa combines solid first-hand reporting with tactile, lyrical sketches of myriad sites and people. Duncan ( Pedaling the Ends of the Earth ) writes without preconceptions, political axes to grind or romantic expectations. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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