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Monday, November 19, 2007

Book Review: Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley & Livingstone

Written by Martin Dugard this is an excellent recount of how Dr. Livingstone and Henry Stanley met in the heart of Africa.  Dugard presents the story in a journal/diary format writing about the progress of each man towards their unplanned and unlikely meeting hundreds of miles from "civilization," while delicately weaving important historical and background information into the narrative.

I really enjoyed this book and was able to complete it in just over a week.  The story-line is very compelling as Livingstone is quickly running out of luck and supplies just as Stanley, a journalist from the USA walks into the village with new supplies and hope. Drugard's research makes you feel like you are struggling through the pain of malaria, dysentery, and the anguish of having no energy or desire to take the next step towards the African unknown and the final destination. 

I never really understood the history behind Stanley and Livingstone's meeting and the famous phrase "Dr Livingstone I presume." By all accounts, including his own, Livingstone was lost and without any hope of rescue deep inside Africa's jungles when Stanley miraculously arrived, beating better trained and equipped British explorers and proving to the world that Livingstone was still alive and the US was a force to be reckoned with. 

If you have an interest in Africa, adventure, history, or just want a great story this is your book.  It may even spike your interest and desire to travel Into Africa.



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