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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
Having extensively read about these two accomplished and highly recognized explorers and having traveled the area where Stanley set out to search for Livingstone, I was both excited and anxious to read Mr. Dugard's book. My expectations were high as I opened the first page. To say the least, Mr. Dugard's excellent narrative, thorough research and personal exploration...
Published on May 21, 2003 by William Baker

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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In Defense of Dr. Livingstone's Character
I would have given this book a higher rating for its interest-holding qualities; however, I was disappointed by the way the author, Martin Dugard, used recently discovered unsubstantiated accusations against Dr. David Livingstone which casts a shadow upon this man's godly character, an image which had gone largely untarnished for more than 125 years, without giving us...
Published on April 30, 2012 by Amazon Customer


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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!, May 21, 2003
Having extensively read about these two accomplished and highly recognized explorers and having traveled the area where Stanley set out to search for Livingstone, I was both excited and anxious to read Mr. Dugard's book. My expectations were high as I opened the first page. To say the least, Mr. Dugard's excellent narrative, thorough research and personal exploration into the minds of the two heroes truly surpassed my hopes for an interesting and enlightening journey into this well known story. Into Africa is not only a combination of adventure and biography, but Mr. Dugard adds interesting insight into the soul of Stanely and Livingstone. Mr. Dugard's writing is rich and flows with compelling descriptions and details. The read is both educational and very entertaining. Although the subject is historical, the book is not the least bit dry and technical, such as Ambroses' Undaunted Courage. Mr. Dugard's style of writing wisks the reader through the personal lives and adventures of not only Stanley and Livingstone, but many of the important secondary characters who had a great affect on Stanley and Livingstone's successes, (ie Kirk, Murchison, Bennett, etc.). The key element that makes this book a great read is Mr. Dugard's relentess and extensive research. His use of Stanley and Livingstones personal journals, letters, obscure newspaper articles, letters and diary entries of Stanley and Livingstone's associates and his own personal reflections and observations helps provide the reader with an accurate and precise account of what truly led to the utterance of that immortal phrase..."Dr. Livingtsone, I presume."
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183 of 206 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Problem With Presumption, May 16, 2003
By 
Bruce Loveitt (Ogdensburg, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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Here's what I knew (or thought I knew) before I read this book: David Livingstone was a missionary who, after many years of trying, converted almost no Africans to Christianity. He got sidetracked into trying his luck at exploration....and didn't have much luck. He mainly wandered around, not accomplishing much. Henry Morton Stanley went looking for Livingstone as a newspaper "publicity stunt." He had a lot of money behind him and found Livingstone without too much trouble. Later on in life he went back to Africa and debased himself by working for the notorious King Leopold of Belgium, helping to set up the infamous slave-labor colony in the Congo. He was, even before he went to the Congo, a cruel racist. Although maybe I shouldn't admit to my ignorance, that's pretty much what I "knew." Some of the above turned out to be true, some of it didn't, as I discovered after reading this book. It is true Livingstone didn't have much luck with conversions, even though he spent a good portion of the last 30 years of his life in Africa. He was, however, a better explorer than I realized. He was the first white man to walk across Africa, doing so from east to west. From 1841-1851 he explored the deserts, rivers and lakes of Southern Africa. From 1858-1863 he explored the Zambezi river and the area to the north of the river. It is true that he didn't accomplish 2 of the main goals he had set for himself. He hoped, by his explorations, to open up the African interior to economic development which would eliminate the slave trade. This didn't happen during his lifetime. He even compromised his principles and accepted food and hospitality from Arab slave traders as his second goal became his primary goal, and even an obsession- to find the source of the Nile. He was about 600 miles too far to the south, and never found what he was looking for. Indeed, after being found by Stanley, Livingstone remained in Africa and died in pursuit of his obsession. Despite these failures, Livingstone did map quite a bit of Africa and measured the height of, and gave the English name to, Victoria Falls. Stanley, while undoubtedly a racist- he beat his porters for little or no reason- did not have an easy time finding Livingstone. As Mr. Dugard makes clear, Stanley relentlessly made his way through jungles, swamps and savannah, having to deal with crocodiles, lions, hyenas, and tsetse flies along the way. He survived bouts of malaria and dysentery, encounters with cannibals, an attempted rebellion by his men, and porters running off with essential supplies. He also wound up in the middle of a war between Arab slave traders and various African tribes. He was genuinely fond of Livingstone and didn't just stick around to say, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" He spent five months with Livingstone, bringing essential supplies so that Livingstone could go on with his explorations. Stanley later, in 1874, returned to Africa and circumnavigated both Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika and followed the Congo River all the way to the Atlantic. These were remarkable achievements. Do they absolve Stanley of the sin of helping to establish Leopold's nightmarish Belgian Congo? No they don't....but they were still remarkable achievements. This book works very well as an adventure story, but it is more than that. The author didn't just look at the books that Stanley and Livingstone wrote for public view. He also looked at the journals of the two men. Thus, we are privy to their most inner thoughts and disappointments. Livingstone was guilty about not having spent more time at home in England with his wife and children. (His wife was so lonely she came to Africa to join him in 1861. She died from malaria in 1862.) He also, however, despite his reputation as a "pure of heart" missionary, was very sexually active with African women. He himself estimated that he had enjoyed the favors of 300 natives. Stanley was the result of a liaison between his prostitute mother and one of her customers. He was dumped in a workhouse by uncaring relatives and was sexually abused by his fellow inmates. His journals, unsurprisingly, show a man wracked by insecurity and depression, warding off thoughts of suicide by keeping himself constantly busy. Mr. Dugard speculates that part of the appeal for Stanley in finding Livingstone (and his affection for Livingstone once they met) was his desperate need for a father figure. (Livingstone was about 30 years older than Stanley.) Considering Stanley's upbringing, this speculation does not seem far-fetched. One problem this otherwise fine book does have is that is suffers from a lack of maps. The only map in the book is printed on the inside cover. It is ok but not really detailed, and it is awkward to get to. As most of the chapters get into a lot of detail regarding where Stanley and Livingstone are at any particular moment, it would have been much better to have more maps scattered throughout the book. In any event, after reading this excellent combination of adventure tale/ dual biography, I feel a little less ignorant than before. Not a bad thing!
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77 of 87 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a newspaper man's time and geographical slice, October 5, 2003
It's a breezy read, aimed at the general public at mid high school level writing. The author is a newspaper man, and one of the main characters- Stanley is likewise a newspaper man's newspaper man. The book reminds me of the kind i'd love to find as a high school student: fun, interesting, provocative- something to write a review about for extra credit.
Two form items deserve comment. First the chapters alternate: first Livingstone, then Stanley, nice and effective technique. Second, each chapter has a small sidebar where the distance between the two men is calculated. A neat way of doing it, builds the suspense, and makes the movement of the men towards each other all the more interesting.
One deeper thought that the book provoked was the humanness of history. The fact that it is made by men (yes, and women, men is generic here) who choose each day to do something, to challenge themselves. This book bears out this idea to the max, the people involved are human, sometimes heroes, often not. But both of the main characters are portrayed as human, and yet just a little superhuman, this class of people who just do above and beyond the call of duty. This is significant, and it makes the book worth the time to read. i publicly thank the person who recommended it to me for it is off my usual track. Plus i really need to practice my speedreading on something, and heavy science is not the right place, this book was.
So if you like history a little bit, dont want to be bogged down in heavy big-word writing, like reading newspaper accounts or journalistic writing, then this is a good book for you.
thanks for reading this review.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Grandest of Explorations, August 20, 2003
"Doctor Livingstone, I presume?" The formal question, ringing of Victorian propriety, is well known, and when it first became news after it was uttered in 1871, it was a sensation. It represented the climax of global exploration; never again would the world concentrate so on the efforts of men tramping through the unknown. The story of the search for the source of the Nile has been told many times. The current retelling, _Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley & Livingstone_ (Doubleday) by Martin Dugard, tells the story of two vastly different explorers and the unimaginable hardships they went through on their travels through what was known as "the dark continent." Dugard weaves the stories of the explorers, and those who went before them, their backers, the nationalistic goals of the time, and of course the dangers of the trail, to recount the tale in full. It is still a grandly exciting story.
David Livingstone originally went to Africa as a 27-year-old missionary; Dugard points out that this was before missionary work became tainted with imperialism. He was going to save souls, but he got bored, and he was disgusted by the boredom of his converts during public worship. He requested permission to "go forward into the dark interior," and when it was granted, he looked forward to the prospect with "inexpressible delight." In 1886, he set out to find the source of the Nile. He entered the continent, and was lost to the outside world for five years. Speculation about his condition, and rumors about his death, were widespread. The _New York Herald_, sensing a scoop, sent roving reporter Henry Stanley to find him. The treks of both Stanley and Livingstone as jointly recounted here are full of distressing accounts of malaria, dysentery, hookworms, and maggots eating living flesh. Then there are starvation, dehydration, floods, tribal wars, thorns, ants, crocodiles, and much more. Livingstone, evidencing the sort of humorous understatement that must have supported him well, wrote in his journal, "It is not all pleasure, this exploration." After being found, Livingstone did not return to England with his new friend, but died two years later still searching for the authentic source of the Nile. His heart was buried in Africa, and the rest of him in Westminster Abbey. Stanley was a pallbearer.
There is plenty of history here, and exciting, often gruesome, adventure, told in a spellbinding prose. We will have no exploration on this sort of epic scale again. There is certainly nothing wrong with exploring strands of DNA or hunting for undersea treasure, but such efforts will always be largely technological. The baldly heroic exploits described here may be of another age, and may come to us now with distasteful colonial and racial baggage, but Stanley and Livingstone could hardly help that. The world was in a frenzy to read news of the famous explorer and his rescuer, and re-living events by means of _Into Africa_ will let readers experience the same thrills.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In Defense of Dr. Livingstone's Character, April 30, 2012
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Amazon Customer (Jundiaí, SP Brazil) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone (Paperback)
I would have given this book a higher rating for its interest-holding qualities; however, I was disappointed by the way the author, Martin Dugard, used recently discovered unsubstantiated accusations against Dr. David Livingstone which casts a shadow upon this man's godly character, an image which had gone largely untarnished for more than 125 years, without giving us both sides of the story.

Recently, I read an article by ProQuest LLC. where they quote Dr. David Livingstone Wilson, the explorer's great-grandson, as saying, "Livingstone made enough enemies who would have loved to have made capital out of this a long time before now." He went on to say that the contentious documents date from 63 years after the explorer's death. "My own father went to Africa in 1916 and spoke to some of these chiefs; there was no mention of it then," he said. "It wouldn't have been a thing they would have hidden from him if they had remembered it." He also said that if the boy had been much younger (about six, for example) that would have been more believable because Livingstone had been on expedition between 1866 and his death. He added: "It is the first hint of such a situation and I haven't had any knocks on the door from anyone claiming to his descendent."

About the words in a letter to his friend G. E. Seward where Dr. Livingstone supposedly wrote, "I had, like Solomon, three hundred wives princess (but don't tell Mrs. Seward)". It seems to me to have been written in a facetious manner. I would like to read the whole letter to see exactly what he was saying in context. Three hundred affairs seems to be an awful lot of relationships for someone who was constantly traveling, sick, preaching, etc. and who wrote the pious words he did in his diary day in and day out.

About the descriptions of the beauties of African women he encountered on his journeys; as a Christian man myself, I didn't necessarily see anything impure about what he wrote, especially considering that he was an older man when he wrote the descriptions referenced in the book.

In conclusion, I do not think there is enough credible evidence to warrant publishing such gossip and hearsay in a way that tarnishes the moral character of a man who is not here to defend himself. The author of this book could have at least added some more details that would put the "testimonies" against Dr. Livingstone's character in question and cast some doubt upon their validity likewise.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the Jungle, December 27, 2003
By 
Z. Blume (St. Louis, MO United States) - See all my reviews
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The search for the source of the Nile was one of the last great mysteries left for geographic explorers and Dr. David Livingstone was one of the men most committed to solving the age old question. When he was lost in the heart of Africa, Henry Stanley, a reporter and world-traveling rogue, decided he would earn his fame and fortune finding the lost explorer. Their lives never connected until their famous meeting in Africa, but Dugard does an excellent job presenting their lives up to that fateful moment by alternating chapters and giving the sense that they were destined to meet. This is a very well written and extensively researched book and will be a great read for people who already know a lot about Stanley and Livingstone or readers like me coming to the book knowing next to nothing. It will also please readers who typically have little interest in non-fiction, because it is such a fast-paced drama. I would highly recommend this book to all readers.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courage in Africa, September 14, 2003
By 
Lawrence M. Monat (Long Island, New York) - See all my reviews
If the only thing you ever knew about Stanley and Livingstone was the famous phrase "Dr. Livingstone, I presume", but would really like to know the underlying story and enjoy a truly remarkable adventure, this is a great book to read. Livingstone had spend his career in Africa and was probably one of the most famous white explorers of his time, having walked across Africa in the first half of the 19th century. He returned when he was older to find the source of the Nile. He became ill and lost, and many presumed he was dead. The most amazing, exciting and improbable part of the story is Stanley, a complete unknown, who showed resourcefulness and courage as a correspondent on assignnment by the New York Herald. He was sent to find Livingstone and "scoop the story." You will be amazed and on the edge of your couch when you learn how he did it by overcoming disease, insects, tribal warfare, and impassable jungle.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT INTRO TO AFRICAN EXPLORATION IN THE 19TH CENTURY, July 23, 2006
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This review is from: Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone (Paperback)
This book tells the intertwined tales of David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley. Dugard (the author) puts together a very well written story, giving the reader context to be excited when the culminating moment of "Dr Livingstone, I presume?" comes about.

The book provides a begginer on African exploration (such as myself) with a very good understanding of the context in Africa and England, as the Victorian era of exploration is at its best. Characters such as Murchison, Burton and Speke are described in detail as to their accomplishments. The reader also gets a good understanding of the discussion behind the source of the Nile and the difficulties involved in determining it.

The personal lives of Livingstone and Stanley are an integral part of the story. The tale how Stanley rose through newspaper ranks in NY and provided scoops on different European wars ahead of european reporters. His dubious character is portrayed in his experiences in Turkey, where he became a robber and was close to losing his life.

This is a rather short book -- 300 pages -- which can be read in a few sittings. If you are interested in exploration or would just like to know what these historical characters were up to, this is a very good book. It may drive the reader to the point of such curiosity that you may find yourself picking up a few of the books authored by the characters themselves (of which there are many).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Armchair Adventure at it's BEST!, June 20, 2009
By 
G. H. Chapman (Kingston, New York USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone (Paperback)
Being too cautious (and low on funds) as a lad to go on safaris, climb high mountains, or sail the seas and now too old to try my hand at real life adventure, I've had to satisfy my love of adventure through great books. From the safety of my recliner I have scaled Everest, sailed to exotic islands and distant lands, searched for the Northwest Passage and explored Antarctica.
Mr Dugard's book "Into Africa" was my first African adventure, and oh what a joy it was! He captures the period of exploration, the spirit and grit of Stanley and Livingstone, the various native cultures, and the awesome landscape of an incredible land with such vivid detail! I was there! I was able to walk with these men without fear of tsetse flies (sleeping sickness) or mosquitoes (malaria). I did not have to watch for deadly Mamba snakes, or large critters that could consider me their lunch. No fear of being run in by a spear by some native for trespassing. No grueling long walks in 115 degree heat. Yet I was able to experience all of that and more. Of all my adventure books, this one will stand out as one of the best. You know they are great books when you find yourself in dread of reading the last page. "Into Africa was my first book by Martin Dugard. Years from now I will read it again. I now anxiously await delivery of Dugard's book titled: "Farther Than Any Man" - I set sail with Captain James Cook the moment the book arrives! Enjoy your adventures wherever they lead you!!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting and educational treatise, May 2, 2006
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This review is from: Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone (Paperback)
"Doctor Livingstone I presume?" is undoubtedly one of the most well known quotes in history. Very few people, however, are familiar with the history underlying the meeting of Dr. David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley.

This book details the lives of the two men and the historical background through which they were thrown together. Livingstone, one of the foremost explorers of his day is searching for the source of the Nile River. Through a combination of bad luck, poor planning, disease, weather, natives, etc., Livingstone is virtually stranded on the banks of Lake Tangyanika.

Henry Stanley, a newspaper correspondent undertakes a rescue mission at the direction of his publicity hungry publisher. This book details that mission and the international setting under which it took place. The perils of African exploration in the late 19th century cannot be overstated. This book does an excellent job impressing this upon the reader.

I found this book very similar in style and experience to Undaunted Courage (which detailed the Voyage of Discovery undertaken by Lewis and Clark) and River of Doubt (dealing with Theodore Roosevelt's exploration of the Amazon basin. If you enjoyed either of these books, you will like this one as well. If you read this book and enjoy it, I highly recommend the other two.
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Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone
Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone by Martin Dugard (Paperback - April 13, 2004)
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