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Africa on CD
Compiled by Richard Seltzer

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Africa on CD

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Africa on CD ROM
Algeria, Angola, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Libya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, and Zaire
Compiled by Richard Seltzer
B&R Samizdat Express - March 24, 2003
ISBN: 0-931968-24-0
Genre: History, Political Science

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - May 23, 2003

Please note: As of 6/26/2007, this CD now contains 146 books, plus 16 Country Studies.

Africa is a land of contrasts, a land of mystery, and a land of beauty. The Africa is a diverse land, both geographically and culturally. An intriguing glimpse of Africa can be obtained from the Africa on CD collection that has been compiled by Richard Seltzer. This CD provides a wealth of information on the geography, history, and cultures of the African nations of Algeria, Angola, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Libya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, and Zaire.

The information on this CD is divided into four thematic sections covering country studies, literature, history, and the exploration of Africa (from a European perspective). Also included in this collection is a copy of the 2002 edition of the CIA World Factbook.

Country Studies

Each Country Study is an independent book that provides an in-depth overview of each of the sixteen countries covered on this CD. The country studies were originally issued by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress. The Country Study looks at each country's history, society, environment, economy, government, politics, and how the political and social make-up of each country affects the national security of the United States.

Each Country Study is presented as a single text file that can be opened with almost any word processing program or web browser. The books also include an appendix that consists of a variety of tables that are in html format. I was able to open these html tables with both the Microsoft Word and WordPerfect word processing programs, as well as opening them with a web browser.

African Literature

This CD collection contains a large body of works by authors who are best known for stories set in Africa. Works that you will find in this collection include: African History

This collection includes a small, but very worthwhile collection of books that cover the breadth of Africa's history. Works that are included cover pivotal events such as the Boer War and anthropological works such as Native Life in South Africa by Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje.

European Exploration of Africa

The collection of books on African History are complimented by the inclusion of a wide range of books on the exploration of Africa by Europeans. These monumental works range from Richard Burton's First Footsteps in East Africa to How I Found Livingstone by Henry Stanley and John Hanning Speke's phenomenal book, The Discovery of the Source of the Nile. In addition to Burton, Stanley, and Speke you'll also find works by Mungo Park, Samuel White Baker, Alexander Bulatovich, Winston Churchill, Mary Kingsley, and David Livingstone on this CD.

CIA World Factbook

The CIA World Factbook is an outstanding reference work that offers statistics on just about everything from the population of each country, to each countries Gross National Product (GNP). The CIA World Factbook provides a country by country analysis of every country in the world. This analysis provides brief, yet comprehensive overview of each country. Information in this country by country analysis includes statistics detailing such facts as the amount of each country's arable land, literacy statistics, climate, religious and gender make up of the country, languages spoken, main exports, and other useful information that helps to give the reader a detailed overview of each country. The text is also enhanced by the inclusion of historical facts on the various countries, reference maps, and links to relevant websites. This book is an illustrated book in html format. To properly see the pages in this book, you will need to open this book in a web browser, such as Microsoft's Explore or Netscape. These files may not display properly if opened in a regular word processing program.


This CD includes a windows-based screen reading program called ReadPlease. Two versions of the ReadPlease program come with the CD, a free version and ReadPlease Plus, a commercial shareware version. To use the program, you simply highlight the text you want read to you, and the computer will read it aloud. In the free version you can only highlight 16,000 bytes of text at one time, whereas with the commercial version you can set the program to read an unlimited amount of text at one time.

Instruction on how to use both programs can be found in the CD's 'readme' file. Both programs also come with complete instructions, and both versions of the program can be used to read other files on your computer, beyond those found on this CD.

In Conclusion

This CD collection of books on Africa is an ideal addition to the library of anyone interested in African Studies and as a general reference book for students. For the price of a single printed book, you can add a wealth of books, for the whole family, to your library. This CD also includes a Teachers' and Students' Guide that will help you navigate the CD. The above overview only offers a brief glimpse at the numerous works contained on this CD.

System Requirements

Windows PC
A web browser such as Explorer or Netscape, or a word processing program such as Word or WordPerfect.

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