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Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,267 Ratings  ·  275 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Trevor
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
...more
Brenda
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.
Rex Fuller
Feb 13, 2016 Rex Fuller rated it really liked it
For years I vaguely assumed that Stanley’s effort to find Livingstone was a more or less straightforward trek into the African savannah. Anyone with the money could have done it. No big deal. Thousands and thousands of Americans were doing pretty much the same thing going west in this country at that time. Well!

Malaria and dysentery, both of which Stanley suffered repeatedly and severely. Mutinies and desertions by the porters. Deaths of porters and pack animals from all manner of causes. Extort
...more
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
...more
Brenton
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
...more
Otis Chandler
Jul 22, 2008 Otis Chandler rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Otis by: http://safarizanj.blogspot.com/
"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
...more
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
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
Colleen
Apr 29, 2016 Colleen rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
This is one of those books I picked up knowing absolutely nothing about--other than the eternally famous "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" It's still reporter rescues lost explorer, but this author is pretty good at showing just WHY that phrase became so famous. Dr. Livingstone was surprisingly a really nice guy, even though he had a lot in common with his fellow Victorian explorers. He was still manic about wandering into the jungle like Percy Fawcett, but I think Livingstone's disgust and horror i ...more
Natalie
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
...more
Nancy Kennedy
Feb 03, 2012 Nancy Kennedy rated it it was amazing
"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
...more
Pbwritr
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
Natalie Wickham
Jan 01, 2016 Natalie Wickham rated it it was amazing
Mr. Dugard is a masterful storyteller and artfully weaves the lives of Dr. David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley into this captivating book. I could hardly put it down as I read the exciting adventures in each of these men’s lives and anticipated the narrowing gap between them (documented as a sort of countdown in miles at the beginning of each chapter) until the day their paths finally crossed. It is fascinating to gain a deeper understanding of what was going on in the world through the e ...more
Robert Melnyk
Jul 27, 2013 Robert Melnyk rated it really liked it
An amazing story. Everyone has heard of the phrase, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?", but I had no knowledge of the details of his exploration to find the source of the Nile, or of Stanley's adventure to find him. Excellent account depicting the spirit of adventure of these two men, and the hardships the both encountered. It is amazing what they went through, and how they endured. Whenever I read these type of adventure stories, it always makes me think of how lame my hikes in the Catskills are by ...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
...more
Alyson
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
...more
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
Justin
Fantastic! Loved the book, loved the narrator.
Danceteacherkc
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.
Peter
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
...more
Jennifer
Mar 25, 2016 Jennifer rated it really liked it
This book is two stories intertwined--the history of Livingstone searching for the headwaters of the Nile and the story of Stanley searching for Livingstone, along with each of their backstories. Having just returned from Africa, I found this a fascinating story of perseverance and adventure against all the odds. Of course I knew that Stanley had found Livingstone, but I didn't know anything about these two men or even that Stanley searched for Livingstone on behalf of the New York Herald. I als ...more
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
Lisa
Oct 29, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it
full review: http://www.thebookwormslibrary.com/?p...

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
...more
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
Andrew
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
...more
Ann
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
Sarah
Feb 24, 2016 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable read that brings to life Stanley and Livingston (especially Stanley), focusing on Stanley's African trek to find Livingstone and prove he was still alive and searching for the source of the Nile. I agree with some other reviewers who noted that some story lines are fractured in a way that can be hard to follow. I've read a decent amount recently about this period, including about Burton and Bennett, so it wasn't super glaring to me, but I get their point. Still, this is an enjoyable ...more
SpaceBear
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
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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
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More about Martin Dugard...

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