Otis Chandler's Reviews > Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley & Livingstone

Into Africa by Martin Dugard
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Jul 22, 08

bookshelves: africa, history, nonfiction
Recommended to Otis by: http://safarizanj.blogspot.com/
Read in July, 2008

"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 much of Africa, often being the only white man in the expedition. He abhorred slavery, which was then rampant, and fought against it. His quest was to find the source of the Nile river, which evidently was a big thing back then (today we just keep looking for 'dark matter' and other such stuff).

But the most interesting part of the book to me was that the reason we know that famous phrase, is that its an early example of newspaper sensationalism. The New York Observer paid a reporter (Stanley) to take ridiculously large and expensive expedition into the middle of Africa that lasted for years, just to be able to have the exclusive on the story. But it was worth it: millions of Americans were entertained for years by the articles on Stanley's quest. And England wasn't happy its superstar was found by an American either, a fact not lost on the Observer.
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