AFRICA! The name sparks the imagination of people throughout the world. For many, it is a land of charismatic mega-fauna and unfathomable biodiversity. For others it holds interest because of its rich and complex history, culture, and geopolitics. For still others, it speaks of opportunity to exploit its vast resources. For me, as a child, Africa was a place that captured my imagination like no other – wild and full of creatures of all manner and shape. It still does, but my collective knowledge of Africa, beyond its wildlife and conservation, is limited to what I read in newspapers and magazines. This book provides the portal through which that collective knowledge grew to encompass many facets of Africa, its people, and its history.

By modern standards, Africa is plagued by civil/political strife, poverty, and unsustainable population expansion. The continent has tremendous resources, yet it seems that most of the people do not benefit from these riches. Therefore, our thoughts about Africa often take on a sense of hopelessness about its future, its people, and its wildlife. In this book, Drs. Andre DeGeorges and Brian Reilly bring a wealth of experience to their assessment of the past and current state of African conservation, particularly wildlife conservation, but also of fisheries, water, vegetation, and soil conservation. Their effort is an odyssey through time with a central focus on African cultural history, the history of failed conservation and “development” plans by foreign organizations and governments, and the effects of these failures and historical events with respect to African ecology, people, and cultures.

DeGeorges, P.A. & Reilly, B.K. 2008. A critical evaluation of conservation and development in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, New York. 7 books, 3,572p.