Blue Clay People
Blue Clay People
Author: William Powers
Publish: 2004
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-1945408335
Pages: 304

An elegantly written memoir of a young man's life-changing sojourn in a world of immeasurable poverty and instability: Charles Taylor's Liberia.

William Powers went to Liberia as a fresh-faced aid worker in 1999 and was given the mandate to "fight poverty and save the rainforest." It's not long before Powers is confronting the myriad obstacles to these goals. He discovers how Liberia has become a Fourth World country, or a "black hole in the international system"-poor, environmentally looted, scarred by violence, and barely governed. He comes face-to-face with unspeakable horrors and the insidious corruption behind every daily transaction. Yet, against the odds (and the attitude of most aid workers), he finds a place in the jungle that feels like home and a woman he might risk everything for, until violence descends once more, threatening his friends and his future.

With the pacing and prose of the best novels, Blue Clay People is an absorbing blend of humor, compassion, and rigorous moral questioning that will convince readers why the fate of endangered places such as Liberia must matter to all of us.

Author Details:

WILLIAM POWERS has worked for more than a decade in development aid and conservation in Latin America, Africa, and North America. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, International Herald Tribune, the Atlantic, and many other publications. He is a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and an adjunct faculty member at New York University. He speaks and writes widely as an expert on sustainable development. He lives in Bolivia.