The Impossible Life of Africa's Greatest Explorer

Book - 2007
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We think of Stanley as a cruel imperialist who connived with King Leopold II of Belgium in horrific crimes against the people of the Congo--and the journalist who conducted the most legendary celebrity interview in history, opening with, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" But these perceptions are not quite true, as biographer Jeal shows. With access to previously closed Stanley family archives, Jeal reveals the extent to which Stanley's career and life have been misunderstood and undervalued. Few have started life as disadvantaged as Stanley. Rejected by both parents and consigned to a Welsh workhouse, he emigrated to America as a penniless eighteen-year-old. Jeal re-creates Stanley's rise to success, his friendships and romantic relationships, and his life-changing decision to assume an American identity. Stanley's epic but unfairly forgotten African journeys are described, establishing the explorer as the greatest to set foot on the continent.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, 2007
ISBN: 9780300126259
Branch Call Number: DT351.S9 J43 2007bx
Characteristics: xiii, 570 p., [23] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), maps ; 24 cm


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Mar 23, 2014

Overall an interesting topic and read. The only downside is this book is way too long. Lots of repetition and too much detail that really doesn't add anything to an interesting historical figure. Having visited Africa, this was an interesting history of the discovery of the interior in the 19th century.
Book probably could have been about 100 pages shorter.
No holds barred by author about cannibalism and corruption which was refreshing.


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