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Jeremy Harding, 9 May 1991

Fishing in Africa: A Guide to War and Corruption 
by Andrew Buckoke.
Picador, 227 pp., £17.50, May 1991, 0 330 31895 0
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Africa: Dispatches From a Fragile Continent 
by Blaine Harden.
HarperCollins, 333 pp., £16.99, April 1991, 0 00 215889 2
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The Soccer War 
by Ryszard Kapuściński, translated by William Brand.
Granta, 234 pp., £2.99, November 1990, 0 14 014209 6
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... Two of these books are by real journalists – Blaine Harden for the Washington Post, Andrew Buckoke for the Financial Times and others. The third is by a writer, Ryszard Kapuściński, who spent many years masquerading as a correspondent for the Polish news agency, PAP. In covering epic misfortune of the kind one reads about in Africa, all three have learned to talk straight from the shoulder, although Buckoke’s is slightly hunched under the white man’s burden and Kapuściński’s is often set to the wheel of invention, which makes much of his plain speaking deceptive ...

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