The Black Nile: One Man's Amazing Journey Through Peace and War on the World's Longest River

The Black Nile: One Man's Amazing Journey Through Peace and War on the World's Longest River

by Dan Morrison

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A spectacular modern-day adventure along the Nile River from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean Sea

With news of tenuous peace in Sudan, foreign correspondent Dan Morrison bought a plank-board boat, summoned a childhood friend who'd never been off American soil and set out from Uganda, paddling the White Nile on a quest to reach Cairo-a trip that tyranny and war had made impossible for decades.

Morrison's chronicle is a mashup of travel narrative and reportage, packed with flights into the frightful and the absurd. Through river mud that engulfs him and burning marshlands that darken the sky, he tracks the snarl of commonalities and conflicts that bleed across the Nile valley, bringing to life the waters that connect the hardscrabble fishing villages of Lake Victoria to the floating Cairo nightclubs where headscarved mothers are entertained by gyrating male dancers. In between are places and lives invisible to cable news and opinion blogs: a hidden oil war that has erased entire towns, secret dams that will flood still more and contested borderlands where acts of compassion and ingenuity defy appalling hardship and waste of life. As Morrison dodges every imaginable hazard, from militia gunfire to squalls of sand, his mishaps unfold in strange harmony with the breathtaking range of individuals he meets along the way. Relaying the voices of Sudanese freedom fighters and escaped Ugandan sex slaves, desert tribesmen and Egyptian tomb raiders, The Black Nile culminates in a visceral understanding of one of the world's most elusive hotspots, where millions strive to claw their way from war and poverty to something better-if only they could agree what that something is, whom to share it with, and how to get there.

With the propulsive force of a thriller, The Black Nile is rife with humor, humanity and fervid insight-an unparalleled portrait of a complex territory in profound transition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101190357
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/12/2010
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Dan Morrison has written for the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, San Francisco Chronicle, US News & World Report, and the Christian Science Monitor.

Sean Runnette, a multiple AudioFile Earphones Award winner, has also produced several Audie Award-winning audiobooks. His film and television appearances include Two If by Sea, Copland, Sex and the City, Law & Order, Third Watch, and lots and lots of commercials.

Read an Excerpt

Slate: “Payback in Kampala: Why did a band of Somali Islamists bomb World Cup viewing parties in Uganda?” by Dan Morrison (7/12/10)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"The Black Nile ...excels in bringing the place, politics and history of this fragile region alive." —-Boston Globe

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The Black Nile: One Man's Amazing Journey Through Peace and War on the World's Longest River 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
rm80780 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some interesting looks into the African/Eqypt/Arab part of the world. Sudan is a world I never knew much about so interesting. Here is a quote that stuck with me "why when millions here are killed does no one report on it while in Palestine if a chicken gets killed it gets reported"
TooBusyReading on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A journalist in need of a story decided to travel the Nile from Lake Victoria to the sea, covering Uganda, Sudan and Egypt, traveling as much by local means as possible. He sets out with an old friend by paddling a leaky boat despite almost no experience on the water. Although he has planned the trip, he seems remarkably both over-equipped and under-prepared, with a very outdated and inaccurate map.His friend, Schon, seems like a very unlikely person to take on this journey, and his outlook on the trip is grumpy and judgmental. When he needs to return to the United States, Dan continues alone.This is more than an travel adventure. It is a story of conflicting cultures, tribes, politics, economies, and religions. It was hard for me to keep all the tribes straight. At one point, the author is told that he can tell one tribe from another by seeing which teeth have been ceremonially removed.Mr. Morrison's wasn't just an onlooker. He talked to all the local people that he could, stayed with local people when he could, and traveled in some really odd and unreliable vehicles. His observations ranged from the mundane, everyday life of the people, something I always enjoy reading, to history and politics.¿I don't understand politics,¿ he said.... ¿Like ten years ago, Egypt closed the border. Completely closed. All because of something in Ethiopia.¿¿Dude, I think the something was that your government tried to kill Egypt's president.¿~~~~~~~¿I was here before God. When did you come here? I was here six thousand years. Before religion. Before God.¿(These quotes are from uncorrected proofs and may not be in the book as published.)As the author reached Egypt and the more urbane cities, it seemed the story was going to fizzle out. End of journey = end of story. That sentence is true, but the last couple of paragraphs of the book were amazing.The copy I read was an uncorrected proof. It had a map of the whole area that I referenced frequently. I believe the finished book will have additional maps. I am hoping that the finished book may also have some of the photographs that the author took. I found myself wanting to see some of the scenes and people he described and photographed. This is a great book for any readers of nonfiction who enjoy travel, politics, African history and cultures.A copy of this book was provided to me for review. I would have loved it even if it hadn't been free.Edit: I've learned that the finished book will contain about two dozen photographs. I'm going to have to get a copy.
Carolee888 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a very difficult review for me to write. I was disappointed in the The Black Nile. It was a struggle for me to get through the first three fourths of the book. I read and then could not remember what I read. The pace was very slow and there were things that might have been better edited out because they interrupted the flow of the book. Maybe this book was just not for me. There were spots of humor and some interesting facts about the different cultures he encountered but not enough. Also there seemed to be times where more transition would have helped. I wished for more explanation of the non English words either in the narrative or in the glossary in the back. I wished for more depth of feeling during some of the remarkable experiences. In the last fourth of the book, it had a faster and easier pace. I was familiar with what was going on the areas that he explores I was not aware that the governments were so non-communicative. I had already been aware of the politics of the region but not so much the culture. The information about the cultures added a richness to the book. If the whole book had been like the last fourth I would given it a 5 star rating.
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robpolner More than 1 year ago
In "The Black Nile," Dan Morrison takes the reader on a gripping, amusing, well-researched and ultimately profound trip on the Nile, from its Ugandan wellsprings to Alexandria. Along the way he encounters both the familiar -- a far cry from the way Westerners often depict Africa - and the dangerous: well-armed crazies, religious radicals, brash exploiters and creepy quick-buck artists. The writing is fresh, honest and novelistic, laced with pertinent history and fast-moving anecdotes. The characters are well-drawn, including that of Morrison's close friend and traveling partner, who is one part adventurer and another part cautionary straight-man. The book is visceral at times, causing me to imagine myself as an explorer. I suggest everyone take this heart-pounding trip. It is truly a great adventure, but be forewarned: It ain't Disneyland, and you're not likely to forget it.
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