Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Moroccan Murder Mystery! New book by Joseph Braude, out today

Afropop listeners know Joseph Braude for his superb contributions to the Hip Deep program catalogue, notably A Tale of Two Rebellions, with its brilliant use of contemporary film clips to tell tales of fateful long-ago conflicts, and Africans in the Arabian (Persian) Gulf, a rare look at all-but-hidden African history in the Arab world.  For the past three years, Braude has been working on a book based on four-months he spent embedded with the Moroccan secret police in Casablanca.   Braude describes the book as a "true-to-life murder mystery" and notes that members of the legendary Moroccan roots band Nass el Ghiwane (Afropop favorites, and once dubbed "the Rolling Stones of Morocco" by Martin Scorsese) are characters in the story, essentially "spiritual detectives."  The book is called The Honored Dead, and it hits the market today.  You can watch a trailer, read Braude's intro to the book, order it and much more at http://josephbraude.com/ .

I just ordered my copy this morning, so I can't say more about the book itself just yet.  But I can tell you that Braude is one hell of a story teller.  He has a sharp, probing mind and a remarkable capacity to connect realms of history, politics, religion and culture.  He is also a keen human observer and a terrific prose stylist.  This book is timely as well.  In a year when so much focus is gathering on North Africa--even this blog now overflows with reports from Moroccan festivals and previews of our upcoming research trip to Egypt--The Honored Dead promises to offer unique insights about this complex and fast-changing region.  Sometimes a human drama, set in a particular place and time, can reveal deeper and clearer truths about the world than reams of reporting and analysis amid the blizzard of current events.

So join me in being among the first to own this one-of-a-kind book, just a click away at http://amzn.to/HonoredDead.  Give it to a friend.  At the very least, The Honored Dead will deliver a singularly compelling beach read.

Banning Eyre
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