Chasing the Devil: The Search for Africa's Fighting Spirit

      Tim Butcher
Chasing the Devil: The Search for Africa's Fighting Spirit

For many years Sierra Leone and Liberia have been too dangerous to travel through, bedevilled by a uniquely brutal form of violence from which sprang many of Africa's cruellest contemporary icons - child soldiers, prisoner mutilation, blood diamonds. With their wars officially over, Tim Butcher sets out on a journey across both countries, trekking for 350 miles through remote rainforest and malarial swamps. Just as he followed H M Stanley through the Congo - a journey described in his bestseller Blood River - this time he pursues a trail blazed by Graham Greene in 1935 and immortalised in the travel classic Journey Without Maps. Greene took 26 bearers, a case of scotch, and hammocks in which he and his cousin Barbara were carried. Tim walks every blistering inch to gain an extraordinary ground-level view of a troubled and overlooked region.

As a journalist in Africa, Tim came to know both countries well although the wars made trips to the jungle hinterland far too risky. This is where he now heads, exploring how rebel groups thrived in the bush for so long and whether the devil of war has truly been chased away. He encounters other 'devils', masked figures guarding the spiritual secrets of jungle communities. Some are no more threatening than schoolmasters but others are much more sinister, relying on ritual cannibalism as a source of their magical power. Tim encounters these devils on an epic journey that demands courage, doggedness and good fortune.

Chasing the Devil is a dramatic travel book touching on one of the most fraught parts of the globe at a unique moment in its history. Weaving history and anthropology with personal narrative - as well as new discoveries about Greene - it is as exciting as it is enlightening.

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    The Trigger: Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War

      Tim Butcher
The Trigger: Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War

On a summer morning in Sarajevo almost a hundred years ago, a teenager took a pistol out of his pocket and fired not just the opening rounds of the First World War but the starting gun for modern history. By killing Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Gavrilo Princip, started a cycle of events that would leave 15 million dead from fighting between 1914 and 1918 and proved fatal for empires and a way of ruling that had held for centuries.

The Trigger tells the story of a young man who changed the world forever. It focuses on the drama of the incident itself by following Prinip’s journey. By retracing his steps from the feudal frontier village of his birth, through the mountains of the northern Balkans to the great plain city of Belgrade and ultimately Sarajevo, Tim Butcher illuminates our understanding of Princip— the person and the place that shaped him—and makes discoveries about him that have eluded historians for a hundred years. Traveling through the Balkans on Princip’s trail, and drawing on his own experiences there as a war reporter during the 1990s, Butcher unravels this complex part of the world and its conflicts, and shows how the events that were sparked that day in June 1914 still have influence today. Published for the centenary of the assassination, The Trigger is a rich and timely work, part travelogue, part reportage, and part history.

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    Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart

      Tim Butcher
Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart

When Daily Telegraph correspondent Tim Butcher was sent to cover Africa in 2000 he quickly became obsessed with the idea of recreating H.M. Stanley's famous expedition - but travelling alone.
Despite warnings that his plan was 'suicidal', Butcher set out for the Congo's eastern border with just a rucksack and a few thousand dollars hidden in his boots. Making his way in an assortment of vessels including a motorbike and a dugout canoe, helped along by a cast of characters from UN aid workers to a campaigning pygmy, he followed in the footsteps of the great Victorian adventurers.
Butcher's journey was a remarkable feat, but the story of the Congo, told expertly and vividly in this book, is more remarkable still.

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