Drink the Bitter Root

A Search for Justice and Healing in Africa

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Book Description

Drink the Bitter Root is an international story about the ethical and environmental footprint world nations are leaving in Africa in their determined efforts to destabilize and loot the continent. In the spirit of Robert Kaplan and Samantha Power, Gary Geddes sets out in search of justice, healing and reconciliation. He begins his journey at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, then travels to Rwanda, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Somaliland, crossing Lake Victoria and the Great Rift Valley, where human life began.

Geddes’s quest takes the form of an intimate personal travelogue. Although he confronts the dark realities of abduction, rape, mutilation and murder, drawing on painful encounters, interviews and adventures that occur along the way, Geddes also brings back amazing stories of survival and unexpected moments of grace. His poet’s eye and self–deprecating humor draw us ever more deeply into the lives of some amazing Africans, while never forgetting the complicity we all feel in the face of tragic events unfolding there.

In the words of author and Africanist Ian Smillie, Drink the Bitter Root is not only poignant, literate and funny, but also “a deeply textured journey without maps into the unexplored rifts of sub–Saharan Africa, the human experience, and the psyche. It’s also the masterful handling of a full palette.”

Praise For This Book

Praise for Drink the Bitter Root

"[Geddes chronicles] incredible stories of survival of genocide. But he also turns a critical eye toward the lingering shadow of colonialism and the Cold War as well as the Western government and commercial interests that continue to motivate the kind of unrest that has led to ethnic violence . . . Geddes is unsparing in his look at human weakness, including his own, in a search for redemption in the face of violence." —Booklist