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Blue Clay People: Seasons on Africa's Fragile Edge
     

Blue Clay People: Seasons on Africa's Fragile Edge

4.6 3
by William Powers
 

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"A haunting account of one man's determination and the struggles of a people living in a deeply troubled country."—Booklist

When William Powers went to Liberia as a fresh-faced aid worker in 1999, he was given the mandate to "fight poverty and save the rainforest." It wasn't long before Powers saw how many obstacles lay in the way, discovering

Overview

"A haunting account of one man's determination and the struggles of a people living in a deeply troubled country."—Booklist

When William Powers went to Liberia as a fresh-faced aid worker in 1999, he was given the mandate to "fight poverty and save the rainforest." It wasn't long before Powers saw how many obstacles lay in the way, discovering first-hand how Liberia has become a "black hole in the international system"—poor, environmentally looted, scarred by violence, and barely governed. Blue Clay People is an absorbing blend of humor, compassion, and rigorous moral questioning, arguing convincingly that the fate of endangered places such as Liberia must matter to all of us.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A Masterful storyteller…Powers has a keen ear for dialogue and dialect, and his prose is lovely and lyrical…[His] honesty about his own flaws places him in the congregation rather than the pulpit.” —Providence Journal

“So few educated Westerners agree to work in Liberia that any book illuminating the situation there would be welcome. It is a bonus that William Powers, one of those few, is also sensitive, reflective, and a fine stylist.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Powers sketches scenes of transcendent beauty and grotesque violence, and writes with disarming honesty about his struggle to maintain his ideals when the right course of action is far from clear.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781582345321
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
01/10/2005
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 8.96(h) x 1.31(d)

Meet the Author

William Powers directed food distribution, agriculture, and education programs for the largest non-governmental relief group in Liberia. His commentaries on international affairs have appeared in the New York Times and on National Public Radio.

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4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice work! Fine piece of writing. I love memoirs set in Africa. If you like this book i recommend The Jack Bank.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey welcome to pandora.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
My wife and I visited Liberia while our son was working there. We might have been the only 'tourists' in the war- and corruption-devestated West African nation! Bill showed us much of the country, from the teeming market places of Monrovia to the lush forests and dusty towns far from the capitol. It was sad to see the poverty: delapidated housing, little food, no postal service, no electricity (other than private generators), no piped water, no sanitation system. At the same time, the scores of people we met were warm and filled with hope. This was despite the fact that they had recently undergone the trauma of a protracted and bloodly civil war and now lived under the tyranical heel of President Charles Taylor. While idealistic, Bill was also realistic. Although he saw many of his development projects fail, he adapted, tried new things, got the people involved in rebuilding their own society. Despite the overwhelming odds, he never lost hope. Blue Clay People is a look at the role of foreign aid work in Liberia, and one assumes its insights are applicable to other countries as well. Most of all, the book is the engaging memoir of a young American's two years in Africa.