Synopses & Reviews
"In this engrossing chronicle of a noble rescue mission turned sour, the monstrosities come as often from its central character as they do from the forests of Equatoria that he and his officers explored. Henry Morton Stanley (1841 1904) was 'an unwanted bastard' who became arguably the Victorian era's greatest explorer. Liebowitz, a retired physician, and TV documentary writer Pearson reason convincingly that the shame of Stanley's Dickensian childhood gave rise to his hunger for glory and his nonexistent empathy: almost prerequisites for the 1886 1889 mission (to rescue the governor of Equatoria, now the southern part of Sudan) that was the pretext for Stanley's expedition. The authors move to great effect between the record of events in Stanley's journal and those of his officers. The book becomes slightly tedious in its overly detailed slog through the three-year trek, in which a key colleague went mad, a good half of the expedition died and the survivors arrived too late. After almost 300 lugubrious pages, the final chapters relating the aftermath of the expedition make for quicker, if no less dark, reading. This account may have too much logistical minutiae for mass appeal, but history buffs and students of colonial and African studies will find it purposefully harrowing. Agent, Inkwell Management. (July 25)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Henry Morton Stanley undertook the greatest African expedition of the 19th century to rescue Emin Pasha, last lieutenant of the martyred General Gordon and governor of the southern Sudan. Instead of ten months, the trip took three years and cost the lives of thousands of people, as Stanley's column hacked its way across the last great, unexplored territory in Africa. Stanley's secret agenda was territorial expansion on the model of Leopold's Congo or the British East India Company.