I read Riaan Malan's 'My Traitor's Heart' earlier in 2006. I thought it was an astonishing expose of what went on behind the scenes of Apartheid atrocities. But Jacques Pauw's book 'Dances with Devils' goes a quantum leap further yet. It reads from start to finish like a brilliant whodunnit.
I was tempted to cut the book in half to make the sheer physical weight more manageable as a 'lie in bed' read. This is a big book in every sense of the word. Its subject matter traverses the continent of Africa in heart-stopping, breath-holding, sleep-depriving fashion.
If, as I have, you've travelled within continental Africa on business, you'll have a sense of the (considerable) urban challenges of doing so. Pauw's journalistic forays take him into remote rural or desert locations with drugged-up warlords and genocide perpetrators, in which his only means of departure or (more accurately) 'escape', is a United Nations food-drop aircraft which might or might not arrive within a week.
If you'd like to read the story behind the stories and documentaries that have featured on SABC TV's 'Special Assignment' program - Pauw's international award-winning video journalism showcase - and gain an unparalleled insight into and an understanding of the intrinsic socio-dynamics of Africa - this is a must-not-miss read. You'll force your friends to read it. Just go ask mine! :-)