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Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley & Livingstone

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  2,472 ratings  ·  223 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 thrillin ...more
Paperback, 340 pages
Published April 13th 2004 by Broadway Books (first published December 20th 2002)
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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
Otis Chandler
"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
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
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 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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.
Robert Mcdonald
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
Alyson Farmer
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Jake Cooper
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
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
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
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
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
I don't read a lot of non-fiction, but do like the occasional history or travel memoir. This is an extraordinary combination of both. Dugard does a great job of piecing together the various stories of several explorers and how they all led to that one famous moment when Stanley meets Livingstone.

Instead of a story just tracing a long walk around Africa, he sets it all in context of what was happening on the world stage and helps the reader understand how explorers and scientists were part of the
Nancy Kennedy
"Dr. Livingstone, I presume." Of course, we all know this famous line from the story of New York Herald reporter Henry Stanley, who was sent out to find the missing African missionary and explorer David Livingstone.

If you read this book carefully, you'll find that Stanley may or may not have actually said these words. And, if you read the New Yorker review of this book (June 2, 2003), you'll find that some of the incidents recounted in this book are probably based on Stanley's highly embellished
Jenny Brown
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
There are many excellent rescue / adventure books available. Some I enjoyed include "In the Heart of the Sea", about the whaleship Essex by Nathanial Philbrick;
"The Endurance", by Caroline Alexander, about Shackleton's rescue from the Antartic; "Into Thin Air", by Jon Krakaur, about a disastrous expedition to Mt. Everest; or "Miracle in the Andes", by Nando Parrado about a plane crash in the Andes and subsequent rescue. The common theme in all those is that some misfortune befell the travellers
Marco Caetano
"Doutor Livingstone, presumo?"

Esta é uma das frases mais célebres da história e foi proferida por Henry Morton Stanley, no momento em que finalmente encontrou o Dr. David Livingstone, que se encontrava desamparado no centro de África.

Livingstone, um dos maiores, senão o maior explorador do continente africano do séc. XIX, decidiu fazer mais uma viagem a África, com o intuito desta feita, de descobrir a localização exacta da nascente do Nilo. Porém nem tudo correu como planeado.

A sua nação, Ingla
Good history should read like fiction and this book certainly does. At center are the two main characters: Livingstone, the epic explorer missionary who, through traversing the African continent, rose from humble beginnings to become the most famous person in England besides the queen a fellow of the aristocratic Royal Geographical Society, and who gets swallowed up by Africa while attemping to find the source of the Nile, and Stanley, the "American" ne'er do well who as a journalist for the New ...more
David Lott
Everyone knows the saying “Dr. Livingston I presume,” but does anyone know the background to this story? Who is this Dr. Livingston? Why was he in Africa? Why was Stanley looking for him?

Well this book gives all the answers to those questions with a fictionalized account of the story of Stanley and Livingston using their actual journal entries as the structure to tell this fascinating story.

After reading this book I’m convinced that I never want to visit Africa. Throughout the whole book it seem
Last Ranger

The Mountains Of The Moon.

The mid 19th century was a time of exploration, when men and women sought knowledge, danger, fame and fortune in the dark corners of the world. Africa, the dark continent, was one of those corners because its interior was largely unexplored. One of the most sought after mysteries of all was the unknown source of the longest river in the world: the Nile. While David Livingstone was not the first man to seek "The Four Fountains Of Herodotus" he was certainly the most famo
In 1866 The British explorer and missionary David Livingston disappears into central Africa in a search for the source of the Nile River, determined not to return until he has the enswer. After a five-year absence, rumors of his death are circulating and the Royal Geographical Society sends missions to find him. Missions are launched but the leaders prefer the comforts of African cities to the threats from the interior--cannibals, tribal wars, disease and death are abundant.

James Gordon Bennett
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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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