The Shackled Continent addresses Africa’s thorniest problems: war, AIDS, and above all, poverty. Robert Guest, who spent six years reporting from the world’s poorest continent, pulls the veil off the corruption and intrigue that cripple so many African nations. Guest believes that Africans have been impoverished largely by their own leaders. In the postcolonial era, African rulers–a group he calls “thugocracy”–have shackled their people’s entrepreneurial talents and driven the brightest and most honest to emigrate. From the minefields of Angola to the barren wheat fields of Zimbabwe, Guest gathers startling evidence of the misery African leaders have inflicted on their people. But he also finds success stories, from which he draws hope. With less predatory and more pragmatic government, he argues, the continent will eventually prosper.