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Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone

Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone

Author: Martin Dugard
Rating: 3/5 (Good and enjoyable book, but not life changing)
Last Read: November 2014
Who Should Read: Those who enjoy lightweight historical books; those interested in the 1800s age of exploration and the exploration of Africa by Europeans

I picked up Into Africa during an Amazon Kindle book sale. I didn't really have any reason to read about Stanley and Livingstone, other than the fact that they were two famous names that I knew very little about. 

This book primarily covers the exploration for the source fo the Nile river. Great Britain asked Dr. Livingstone to explore and find the source. Only a few weeks after embarking, his expedition vanished without a trace. Stanley, a journalist, was sent into Africa in search of Livingstone as part of a plan to capitalize on the world's obsession over Livingstone's disappearance. The book's chapters alternate between Stanley and Livingstone, and we see how the story unfolded for both.

Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone is an engrossing lightweight nonfiction read about two historic men. The author also does a great job at painting the scene and us a glimpse into the time period. I learned quite a bit while reading this book, especially about the Arab slave trade (something I had never heard about before).

My Highlights

“The effect of travel on a man whose heart is in the right place is that the mind is made more self-reliant: It becomes more confident of its own resources—there is greater presence of mind.

“No one,” he once wrote, “can truly appreciate the charm of repose unless he has undergone severe exertion.”

“We also rejoice in our sufferings,” Paul had written in his letter to the Romans in the middle of the first century, “because suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us.”

Not only did Livingstone achieve more through kindness than Stanley had through rage, but by the time Livingstone had negotiated their way out of one problem or another, a hostile tribe or recalcitrant porter was often a new ally.

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