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Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,118 Ratings  ·  268 Reviews
With the utterance of a single line—“Doctor Livingstone, I presume?”—a remote meeting in the heart of Africa was transformed into one of the most famous encounters in exploration history. But the true story behind Dr. David Livingstone and journalist Henry Morton Stanley is one that has escaped telling. Into Africa is an extraordinarily researched account of a thrilling ad ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 13th 2004 by Broadway Books (first published December 20th 2002)
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Jun 12, 2009 Trevor rated it liked it
Shelves: history
After a while I stopped noticing how badly written this book was and just went with the flow of the story. Sometimes this was very difficult, as there were lots and lots of adverbs and no noun seemed to ever be deprived of an adjective. No one ever went into a town: rather they rushed or scampered or sauntered or something equally silly. Clearly the writer must have had to read lots and lots of Victorian English to put this book together and this told in his style. Worst of all was the hyperbol ...more
Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
A surprisingly readable book about everything that led up to the famous "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?". I think it's very easy to get the impression that Stanley somehow managed to stumble across Livingstone in the middle of the African jungle and that it's this enormous miracle, but really? Livingstone was just hanging out in a fairly significant African village, one where he was expected to be at some stage because he had supplies waiting there for him.

This doesn't in any way lessen the fact t
Jenny Brown
Feb 07, 2012 Jenny Brown rated it liked it
This book was filled with small errors of fact that shook my confidence in the author's knowledge of the period. The author talks about how Ed Fisk attempted to corner the gold market. It was Jim Fisk. And the explorer wears a "balaclava helmet" in his African camp, which is unlikely since a balaclava is a ski mask. There were odd statements made in passing like one about Queen Victoria's botched coronation, and no attempt to explain the media climate in which Stanley's quest took place.

Those e
Otis Chandler
Jul 22, 2008 Otis Chandler rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Otis by:
"Dr Livingstone, I presume!"

That phrase was buried in my mind somewhere. It was familiar, yet I knew not how nor who this Livingstone person was. This book explained it, and was very entertaining in the process. Highly recommended if you ever travel to East Africa.

A friend recently wrote an interesting piece about how the types of creative people that rise to be famous have changed over the years. Livingstone was an explorer in the mid-1800's, and was a Michael Jordan of England. He explored muc
Feb 25, 2015 Brenda rated it really liked it
So what I knew about Stanley and Livington was, apparently, nothing. What an incredible story 'Into Africa' was/is!!! I loved reading about the exploration of Africa, but I loved more the background into the lives of these amazing men. Hard lives, hard living, and a tad hard to read, but persevere and you'll be glad you did.
TheAccidental  Reader
Oct 02, 2015 TheAccidental Reader rated it really liked it
Shelves: completed
I read this book in preparation for a trip to Africa. I did not quite finish before I left, and read a little more while there. The book was so chock full of fascinating history and details about nature, that I was inspired to keep on reading after my return home. Coincidentally, it was while I was in Zimbabwe, AT Victoria Falls, that I happened to be taking a reading break one morning. My friends were on a little jaunt to Devil's Island, where you can sit in the water, overlooking the towering ...more
Jun 19, 2012 Brenton rated it really liked it
Here is a very engaging narrative tracing the routes of Livingstone and Stanley to their famous meeting in Africa. I'd give it five stars as a good historical narrative. However, I'm not completely resigned (though sympathetic) to the author's downplaying of Livingstone's missionary career. Dugard emphasized Livigstone as a celebrity explorer--and that he was as witnessed by his elaborate funeral. He also emphasized Livingstone's abolitionist efforts.

Stanley is an elaborate character, curmudgeo
Shari Sweeney
Oct 26, 2014 Shari Sweeney rated it liked it
Being a history junkie -- and particularly interested in early exploration -- I devoured this story of Livingstone and Stanley's separate and, briefly, combined adventures in 19th century Africa. That anyone would willingly undertake such journeys -- debilitating illness, warring tribes, slave caravans, epic weather, wild animals, almost certain death -- is unbelievable, and Dugard does a good job explaining the preparations, delays, and changes of course that plagued both parties. He adds nice ...more
Sep 09, 2010 Natalie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Natalie by: B McNagny
I'd give this book a 3.5 if I could but would hesitate to go higher because my memory of the book doesn't give me enough mental ammunition to have a meaninful conversation about the relationship between Richard Francis Burton(19 March 1821 – 20 October 1890) and David Livingstone (19 March 1813–1 May 1873) . I had a coversation about them earlier this summer (2010) during which we wondered about Burton and Livingstone and whether and how often they met in person?

Livingstone was in Africa betwee
Apr 15, 2010 Pbwritr rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, travel
Until I read this book, I had presumed that Stanley and Livingstone were friends, and that that was why Stanley went to find Livingstone. Perhaps one of the other most amazing things I learned was that deepest Africa, in the inner continent, was a place that terrified most coastal Africans and they stayed away from it. They did not have the skills to survive in the jungle, for the most part, and accompanied expeditions primarily as porters. In another interesting sidelight, I learned that Arab s ...more
Noah Preszler
Dec 11, 2015 Noah Preszler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great fun! Nothing strikes me with quite as much romance as the idea of heading into the jungle in the mid-19th century for glory and science. I couldn't tell you when or how that prototypical English explorer (with the distinctive outfit, posh traveling style, ability to suffer and love of science) entered into my brain (hazy memories of children's adventure stories come to mind, mixed with Boy's Life magazine and perhaps the furnishings of Restoration hardware), but I've always meant to study ...more
Robert Mcdonald
Jan 12, 2015 Robert Mcdonald rated it it was amazing
19th and early 20th century Africa have always fascinated me. This is the story of how one of the most memorable moments in in history, when journalist Henry Morton Stanley asked, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

Livingstone had entered the wilds of eastern Africa in search of the source of the Nile, one of the last great geographic mysteries of the world. A famous Victorian adventurer and African exploration veteran he was near financial collapse and needed one last great discovery to see to his f
Apr 16, 2014 Alyson rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book caught my eye when browsing on Amazon (a very favorite pastime). I was able to get it from the local library and I learned a lot. I believe my only knowledge of this story was the line, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume." I am a bit more educated now!

This book was very dense and took me a week to get through. Though not the kind of book that I couldn't put down, I thought the author did a good job of leaving cliff hangers that kept you coming back to find out what would happen. This book is
Dave Biggus
Dec 28, 2015 Dave Biggus rated it it was amazing
First of all, I really didn't know much at all about this period of history. Livingstone was one of the preeminent explorers of his day, being the first to traverse the width of Africa, and fighting against the slavers who were looting the continent. Dugard does an amazing job in my mind painting the picture of this fantastic exotic land, with its hazardous lions, disease carrying insects, cannibalistic tribes, monsoons, as well as beautiful savannas, glorious elephants and masses of land animal ...more
Fantastic! Loved the book, loved the narrator.
Sep 29, 2015 Danceteacherkc rated it liked it
i am grateful i read this book. i really knew nothing about Livingstone. this is a book tha made me more informed and slightly more intelligent. a nice balance from other books i enjoy that do the opposite. i try to keep a good balance of the two :)
its a little slow but seems really accurate. there are a lot of players involved but the author helps you keep track of them pretty well. if this subject interests you at all, would definitely recommend.
Jan 12, 2015 Peter rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this read. I am a hard grader and I would say this was a 4.5; and that I rarely would give a 5. But this was good enough to lean me over to the top score.

It appears to be fabulously researched and the best quality of this book was putting us into the setting of 19th century Africa. The author unflinchingly presents the characters in all of their human strengths and flaws. His descriptions of environment and life made me feel much closer to the events.

The tale itself is breathtak
Mike Reid
Apr 28, 2014 Mike Reid rated it really liked it
Adventure and Survival go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly. In my not so latter years, the explorers of the mid-late 19th century intrigue me. "Into Africa" The story of Livingstone and Stanley only deepens that infatuation. I didn't know anything about the two famous explorers or even Africa for that matter but this story certainly helped me learn about them. Perhaps not as descriptive of the African jungle and dangerous creatures that inhabit it as Candice Millard's "River Of Doubt" which ...more
Oct 29, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it
full review:

The events of this story occurred in a hostile time, place and ideological era. Much that is found in the book is harsh and even offensive to our current sensibilities. But — the facts of the time period are what they were and the reader needs to go in with the open mind, willing to read, without passing judgement. If you apply your own ideologies and moral code to the people and places of this history — you are going to get extremely frustrat
Ann Milliman
Jun 29, 2014 Ann Milliman rated it really liked it
I've been fascinated with Africa since Tarzan movies as a child (I tried watching one with my granddaughter and it was sort of disturbingly un-PC --and I really don't like all the PC crap). That said I really thought this was a very interesting book, certainly not a romantic or pretty depiction of African exploration, but an all too real portrayal of what exploration in the 1800's was really like. A fascinating book, and I appreciated the candid portrayal of Stanly and Livingston, though I thoug ...more
Jan 17, 2014 Andrew rated it it was ok
I've read through 100 pages and I am thoroughly unimpressed with the writing. Perhaps I am not far enough in (1/3) to have been snagged by whatever Dugard is setting up, but I feel like I am getting yanked over all of delicious stories that I came into the book looking for, and I'm getting yanked by a poor writing style to boot.
To be honest, the writing style reminds me of my own writing style, and how bad it can become sometimes. It's not really that the sentences are put together poorly, it's
Jan 02, 2014 Ann rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book traces Dr. Livingstone's last voyage and Stanley's successful trip into the heart of Africa to find him. The book alternates between Dr. Livingstone's position and that of Stanley, with the occasional side bar into Victorian England or the USA. Every chapter starts with a clear indication of what time period is being discussed and how much distance there is between Livingstone and Stanley. That simple technique makes the alternating chapters easy to follow, and makes the tension in the ...more
This book is not only about the colonial era, it seems quite colonial in its approach. There is little about the African societies visited by Stanley and Livingstone, and instead, only contains snippets of information about them from the perspective of the two explorers. To be fair, however, this is a book about colonial exploration rather than on pre-colonial societies, so perhaps the author can be forgiven on that account. The author does seem guilty of sympathizing a little too heavily with S ...more
Curtis J. Correll
Jun 29, 2015 Curtis J. Correll rated it really liked it
I enjoyed listening to this amazing account of the difficult journeys of Livingston and Stanley. Such different men who truly seemed to like each other when they finally met. Be warned there are a few gruesome descriptions of tortures performed by some tribes. However, the overall story is exciting and interesting. Livingston is presented as a sincere Christian without over promoting his faith. The only reason for 4 stars is that the plot takes a bit longer to develop in a few places. However, i ...more
Jake Cooper
Apr 01, 2015 Jake Cooper rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, history
Dugard frames the story as an epic of heroes, but I dunno, being so ill you have to be carried by your dozens of porters? Funding your trip with essentially infinite aristocratic moneys? I'm not knocking the hardship, but let's admit some privilege here.

"Thorns had broken off and embedded themselves in his skin. The beautiful flannel pajamas that gave him so much comfort at night, removing him from the hardship of Africa with their downy warmth, had been transformed into lengths of dirty cloth d
Oct 20, 2014 Jennifer rated it liked it
Well, I feel like it took me as long to read this book as it did for Dr. Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley to trek through Africa! That's what happens when I read multiple books at a time and life in general.

After visiting Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe last February I have wanted to read about Dr. Livingstone's travels through East Africa. His love for Africa and African people inspire me. I love the fact that his body is buried in London's Westminster Abbey but his heart was buried in Africa.

Martin Dugard's "Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone" tells the story behind what is arguably one of the most well-known quotes from an explorer: "Dr. Livingstone, I presume? (perhaps only outdone by Edmund Hilary's "Because it is there.")

The book gives a good overview of Dr. David Livingstone's efforts to find the source of the Nile and Henry Morton Stanley's efforts to find Livingstone. I've read Stanley's book on his exploration of Africa (which came after finding Livi
May 08, 2009 Margaret rated it really liked it
I learned so much! I was surprised at every chapter. The author did a great job of building the story and releasing 'pearls of surprise' in each chapter! 'Stanley and Livingstone' is a household word, yet I knew very little when I started reading. The author writes with the authority of a historian and details the most important and trivial episodes in the adventures with the same multiple adjectives. The bios of the 2 main characters were the least of the book. Stanley - perseverence; Livingsto ...more
Sep 19, 2012 R_ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bio, memoir, exploration
The question that I kept thinking of as I read this book was, "Why would ANYONE in the 19th century have wanted to explore Africa?" It was full of so many horrible ways to die: disease, parasites, carniverous animals, killer storms & weather, warring tribes, cannibals, etc. etc. And this was before the development or discovery of antibiotics, automatic weapons, air travel, internal combustion! It's amazing what explorers like David Livingstone accomplished -- & lived to tell about! It's ...more
Jun 14, 2009 Michael rated it it was ok
Two stars may seem ungenerous, but supposedly that means "it's OK," which feels about right for this one, in the end.

I went to Uganda with another person who told me that she had recently read this book and gotten a lot out of out for background. Thus thinking this would give me some background on a country I had visited (and may visit again) I read it - but I'm at a loss as to how this provides much useful background, other than the epilogue that briefly describes the colonialism that followed
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New York Times bestselling author Martin Dugard is the co-author of Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy and Killing Jesus, written with noted television personality Bill O'Reilly. To date, there are more than seven million copies of these books in print.
Mr. Dugard is also the author of the critically lauded memoir To Be A Runner (Rodale, 2011), a series of essays which takes the reader around the wo
More about Martin Dugard...

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