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The White Nile Paperback – October 17, 2000


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The White Nile + The Blue Nile + Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1St Edition edition (October 17, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060956399
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060956394
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A noble book about the mightiest river on earth." -- --Saturday Review

"A vivid chronicle, stirring, exciting, important...endlessly fascinating. A superb drama of adventurers whose like can never again be seen." -- --New York Herald Tribune

"Extraordinary, Compelling." -- --New York Times

About the Author

Alan Moorehead (1910-1983) was a foreign correspondent for the London Daily Express, where he won an international reputation for his coverage of World War II campaigns, and also served as the chief public relations officer in the Ministry of Defense. He is also the author of many other notable books, including Gallipoli and Darwin and the Beagle.

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Customer Reviews

If you enjoy reading history, I highly recommend any Moorehead book you can find.
Retiree
Alan Moorehead`s book about the Nile, with its explorers of that heroic age - the late 19th century - is truly a magnificent achievement!
Krisztian Gyongyi
It is one of the best accounts of the exploration for the source of the Nile river.
J. head

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Ein Kunde on June 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
Alan Moorehead is one of the finest writers of history books for the lay reader, and "The White Nile" is one of his best books. Moorehead focuses on the period of 1856-1899, telling the story of European discovery, conquest, and colonization of the Nile region. The first part, "Exploration", covers Burton, Speke, Baker, Mutesa, Livingstone, and Stanley. The second part, "Exploitation", covers growing European influence in Khedive Ismail's Egypt and Barghash's Zanzibar in the 1860's, and introduces General Gordon. The third part, "The Moslem Revolt" sees General Gordon defeated by the Mahdi at Khartoum and Emin Pasha rescued by Stanley. The last part, "The Christian Victory" tells of Marchand's march to Fashoda, Kitchener's victory in Khartoum, and the arrival of Thomas Cook cruises. Some may object to Moorehead's emphasis on Europeans, but this is part of the history of the region. It is fascinating history and it is brought to life in this book, which has deservedly become a classic. Well worth reading not only for the history itself, but also for Moorehead's well-crafted prose. Five stars.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Steven M. Anthony on October 18, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love reading history and fancy myself to be quite well read on a variety of historical topics, however I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that much of what I read in this book was completely new to me.

This book deals with the Upper Nile region of Sudan and Central Africa, primarily in the latter half of the 19th century. Parts of the book dealing with Speke, David Livingstone and Henry Stanley were somewhat familiar to me, however historical characters such as Burton, Gordon, Emin, the Mahdi and various of the other Pashas and Khedives were new and absolutely fertile ground.

This book is extremely well written and at almost all times captivating. The descriptions of the Sudd region of the Nile raised visions of Humphrey Bogart dragging the African Queen and Kathrine Hepburn through the reed choked channels of another African river. The chapters on the fall of Khartoum and the struggles of Emin in Equatoria were riveting.

I highly recommend this book, if for no other reason than the fact that unless you are a student of central Africa, you have probably never been exposed to much of this history. For anyone seeking a more detailed treatment of specific African explorations, I recommend Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone by Martin Dugard. Another captivating read from this period would be King Leopold's Ghost, dealing with colonization of the Belgian Congo.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By David Griffiths on June 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
Buy the 1967 softcover edition (isbn 0140019332) instead, it has photographs of quite a few of the characters in the text. The stories revealed in the pages of this book are some of the most fascinating I have ever read, just another example that truth overgoes fiction. The tale is five stars. My 1967 edition had become really tattered so I decided to renew it with this edition. I was very disappointed to discover that all the photographs and engravings of the earlier edition, of Kitchener, King Kabarega, Lord Gordon and his Khartoum palace, Emin Pasha and quite a few more, aren't included here. Gone. I think these original photographs really added a dimension to the story and I lament their passing. Several maps in the earlier book didn't make it either.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By David Seeley (david@leehunt.com) on November 12, 1998
Format: Hardcover
"The Blue Nile" is the story of one of history'sgreatest mysteries: the search for the source of the Nile. Sincebefore recorded time, it has been the greatest river on Earth. It surges powerfully through thousands of miles of forbidding desert; never ceasing, a giver of life that for millennia held one enduring mystery: where did it come from?
As Moorehead tells us, it was the last great unknown. By the 1850s, maps of the world were accurate from corner to corner-- except for the "Dark Continent" of Africa. Its massive interior was blank; a question mark. No explorer had ever entered it and come out alive. One of the greatest ages of exploration was on: a time of Stanley and Livingston, of astonishing discoveries, of bravery and courage, slavery and horror. A handful of men risked everything to solve the Holy Grail that spurred them on: to find the source of the Nile.
Note: This book was originally published in the early 1960s, I believe, along with a companion book, "The White Nile," which traces the stories, history, and intriguing exploration of the other branch of the Nile within Africa's interior. If you read one, you won't be able to resist the other. END
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Steven M. Anthony on October 9, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read a lot of history on ancient Egypt and was passingly familiar with Napoleon's conquest of Egypt, however, I had absolutely no background on other aspects of 19th century Egypt and neighboring Sudan and Ethiopia.

This book was extremely enlightening with respect to such subjects as Mamaluke rule of Egypt prior to Napoleon's arrival and the subsequent reign of Muhammad Ali. However, by far the most interesting and educational part of the book was the last half which dealt primarily with the reign of Theodore, Emperor of Ethiopia and the British invasion to secure the release of European hostages held by Theodore. Prior to reading this book, I'd never heard of Theodore nor the British invasion of Ethiopia.

Blue Nile is a companion piece to White Nile, the Blue Nile being the Nile tributary which feeds into the river at Khartoum, Sudan having flowed from its source in the Ethiopian highlands. Moorehead does a very good job in describing the various expeditions which sought the source of the Blue Nile as well as the political and social anarchy endemic to the region.
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