List Price: $23.99 Details
Save: $6.20 (26%)
Get Fast, Free Shipping with Amazon Prime & FREE Returns
Return this item for free
  • Free returns are available for the shipping address you chose. You can return the item for any reason in new and unused condition: no shipping charges
  • Learn more about free returns.
How to return the item?
FREE delivery:
Get free shipping
Free 5-8 day shipping within the U.S. when you order $25.00 of eligible items sold or fulfilled by Amazon.
Or get 4-5 business-day shipping on this item for $5.99 . (Prices may vary for AK and HI.)
Learn more about free shipping
Sunday, June 27 on orders over $25.00 shipped by Amazon. Details
Fastest delivery: Wednesday, June 23
Order within 16 hrs and 46 mins
Details
In Stock.
$$17.79 () Includes selected options. Includes initial monthly payment and selected options. Details
Price
Subtotal
$$17.79
Subtotal
Initial payment breakdown
Shipping cost, delivery date, and order total (including tax) shown at checkout.
Your transaction is secure
We work hard to protect your security and privacy. Our payment security system encrypts your information during transmission. We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. Learn more
Ships from Amazon.com
Sold by Amazon.com
Ships from
Amazon.com
Sold by
Amazon.com
Return policy: This item is returnable
In most cases, items shipped from Amazon.com may be returned for a full refund.
The Scramble for Africa: ... has been added to your Cart
Get Fast, Free Shipping with Amazon Prime
FREE delivery:
Get free shipping
Free 5-8 day shipping within the U.S. when you order $25.00 of eligible items sold or fulfilled by Amazon.
Or get 4-5 business-day shipping on this item for $5.99 . (Prices may vary for AK and HI.)
Learn more about free shipping
Tuesday, June 29 on orders over $25.00 shipped by Amazon. Details
Fastest delivery: Wednesday, June 23
Order within 16 hrs and 46 mins
Details
Used: Good | Details
Sold by Shopsie
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Book has no writing and the cover is in good condition.
Other Sellers on Amazon
$19.16
& FREE Shipping
Sold by: ZiFiti
Sold by: ZiFiti
(1095 ratings)
97% positive over last 12 months
In stock.
Usually ships within 4 to 5 days.
Shipping rates and Return policy
$20.39
& FREE Shipping
Sold by: Fifty Third Street Books
Sold by: Fifty Third Street Books
(7221 ratings)
93% positive over last 12 months
In stock.
Usually ships within 2 to 3 days.
Shipping rates and Return policy
$22.79
& FREE Shipping
Sold by: Publisher Direct
Sold by: Publisher Direct
(83731 ratings)
93% positive over last 12 months
Only 20 left in stock - order soon.
Shipping rates and Return policy
Loading your book clubs
There was a problem loading your book clubs. Please try again.
Not in a club? Learn more
Amazon book clubs early access

Join or create book clubs

Choose books together

Track your books
Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free.
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Follow the Author

Something went wrong. Please try your request again later.


The Scramble for Africa: White Man's Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912 Paperback – December 1, 1992

4.5 out of 5 stars 357 ratings

Price
New from Used from
Paperback
$17.79
$13.79 $4.47

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
    Apple
  • Android
    Android
  • Windows Phone
    Windows Phone
  • Click here to download from Amazon appstore
    Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

kcpAppSendButton

Frequently bought together

  • The Scramble for Africa: White Man's Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912
  • +
  • King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa
  • +
  • The Fortunes of Africa: A 5000-Year History of Wealth, Greed, and Endeavor
Total price:
To see our price, add these items to your cart.
Choose items to buy together.

Special offers and product promotions

  • Amazon Business: Make the most of your Amazon Business account with exclusive tools and savings. Login now

Editorial Reviews

Review

From the rear cover of this 738 page book: "A phenomenal achievement, clear, authoritative and compelling......Thomas Pakenham's fine book tells the story of this particular gold rush with admirable and judicious poise....Contains some of the best-known episodes of 19th-Century history as well as some of the most mythologized and colorful characters the world has ever seen.....Livingstone and Stanley, Brazza and Rhodes, Kitchener and Gordon, Lugard and Jameson.....Highly readable." and "Taking the entire continent as his canvas, Pakenham has painted a picture of heroism and horror. He writes both with compassion and with an effective combination of detachment and judgement. A splendid book."

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

Leopold's Crusade


Brussels
7 January-15 September 1876

'The current is with us.'

Leopold II, King of the Belgians, at the Geographical
Conference in Brussels, 12 September 1876

'He [King Leopold) first explained his views to me
when I was his guest in Brussels some years ago . . .
his designs are most philanthropic and are amongst
the few schemes of the kind . . . free from any selfish
commercial or political object.'
-- Sir Bartle Frere, 1883


The Times was delivered at the palace of Laeken on 7 January 1876, as usual, in time for His Majesty's breakfast. Leopold II had been up since five. Normally he took a walk through the palace gardens, a tall bearded figure, tramping along the gravelled paths with a barely noticeable limp, or, if it was wet, inspecting the hothouses. He read The Times each day. It was the early edition, the one that caught the night mails to the Continent. His own copy was packed in a special cylindrical container, hurried by the South-Eastern Railway from Blackfriars to Dover, then by the steam ferry to Ostend, then thrown from the guard's van as the Brussels express clanged past the royal palace at Laeken where a footman was waiting to retrieve it. Leopold read the paper with the same earnestness he displayed when performing other royal tasks, brushing the front of his blue tunic with his right hand when something caught his eye.

That morning, 7 January, tucked away at the bottom of page six, was a brief note from The Times's correspondent in Loanda, capital of the half-derelict Portuguese colony of Angola, dated nearly seven weeks earlier. Lieutenant Cameron, the British explorer, had reached the west coast after a three-year journey across Africa. He was too ill (half-dead from scurvy) to return to England before the spring. Meanwhile, he was sending some notes from his travels to be read at a meeting of the Royal Geographical Society on Monday next.

Four days later, under the heading 'African Exploration', The Times splashed Monday's meeting of the RGS across the first three columns of the home news page. The President, Sir Henry Rawlinson, called Cameron's journey 'one ofthe most arduous and successful journeys which have ever been performed intothe interior of the African continent'. That seemed no exaggeration to thosewho read Cameron's own letters, given to the public at the meeting. Of courseCameron was the first to point out there might be 'diplomatic difficulties' ahead, although no European power yet claimed the land either as a colony or a protectorate. This was because of the huge wealth at stake.


The interior is mostly a magnificent and healthy country of unspeakable richness. I have a small specimen of good coal; other minerals such as gold, copper, iron and silver are abundant, and I am confident that with a wise and liberal (not lavish) expenditure of capital, one of the greatest systems of inland navigation in the world might be utilized, and from 30 months to 36 months begin to repay any enterprising capitalist that might take the matter in hand . . . 1


A country of 'unspeakable richness' waiting for an 'enterprising capitalist'. What were Leopold's own views about young Cameron and his sensational discoveries? Cameron's story certainly caught his eye. Within a few days he had promised the RGS that he would pay, if needed, the princely sum of I00,000 francs (£4000) to cover the expenses Cameron had incurred on the journey.

In public, however, Leopold showed no flicker of interest. In the Senate he would stand like a Roman emperor, tall, bearded, his nose like the prow of a trireme. In his slow booming voice, he spoke the required generalities. He had learnt the craft of monarchy in a hard school. His father, Leopold I, was the son of an impoverished German princeling, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. He had had his eye on the good solid throne of England where he would have been consort, through his marriage to Princess Charlotte, George IV's heir presumptive. Charlotte had died in childbirth in 1817. In 1831 Leopold I had picked up a throne in Belgium--but a throne perched on a tightrope. Inside Belgium were two warring peoples, Flemish and Walloon, and two warring sects, Liberals and Catholics. Outside Belgium, hemming it in, were two warring Powers, France and Germany. The King of the Belgians was thus doubly vulnerable. His own survival depended on the goodwill of a bitterly divided people. Belgium's survival depended on the goodwill of two greedy neighbours. To preserve both throne and nation, the King must remain aloof from controversy. Aloofness seemed to come naturally to Leopold II. He seemed to have a natural coolness of heart--or at any rate a temperament chilled by the rebuffs of fortune. His father, Queen Victoria's 'dearest uncle', had shown scant affection for any of his three children. He found Leo gauche and self-willed. Leopold's gentle mother Louise, daughter of Louis-Philippe of France, was devoted to her children, though it was clear Leopold was not her favourite. She had died when Leopold was twelve. And his own son, on whom he doted, died tragically young, leaving Leopold without a direct male heir. At the funeral the King had, for once, lost control. To the alarm of onlookers, he broke down and sobbed aloud by the coffin.

Still, since his accession in 1865, he had hardly put a foot wrong in public. If he was known at all in the world outside Belgium it was as a model, if somewhat pedestrian, ruler. He was admirably free from those delusions of grandeur that so often seemed to fill the crowned heads of petty states.

To his own staff and the handful of politicians who dealt with him regularly, Leopold presented a more complicated character . . .

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 0380719991
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Avon Books (December 1, 1992)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 738 pages
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.64 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 1.28 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 357 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
357 global ratings
How are ratings calculated?

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2017
Verified Purchase
18 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on January 21, 2018
Verified Purchase
16 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on February 3, 2019
Verified Purchase
3 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on September 24, 2020
Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on July 30, 2017
Verified Purchase
9 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on April 11, 2019
Verified Purchase
2 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on January 3, 2007
Verified Purchase
59 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on April 16, 2005
Verified Purchase
8 people found this helpful
Report abuse

Top reviews from other countries

Terry Grigg
5.0 out of 5 stars Commerce, Christianity, Civilisation and Conquest, the story of African colonisation
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 28, 2018
Verified Purchase
Customer image
5.0 out of 5 stars Commerce, Christianity, Civilisation and Conquest, the story of African colonisation
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 28, 2018
I read this colossus quite a few years ago and decided to re-read it as research for a book I am writing about Africa. Thomas Pakenham presents a lengthy and very detailed tome on the European colonisation of the African continent, from the 1870s, and then leading up to the First World War. He vividly describes how the 3 Cs ... Commerce, Christianity and Civilisation, a triple alliance of Mammon, God and Social Progress would liberate Africa. Of course, there was the 4th C, Conquest, which with the aid of mechanised warfare devastated the continent. The five rival nations of Germany, Italy, Portugal, France and Britain treated the whole affair like a schoolboy’s brawl and Livingstone’s ‘Open Sore’ suppurated with more and more pus. At the centre of it all was the Belgian King Leopold with the Congo rubber trade, a slave driver if ever there was one, severing hands as punishment if quotas were unmet. The Germans were hardly any better with a policy of genocide against the Herero and Nama when they rebelled. Africans throughout the continent were treated as nothing more than Nyama (meat), with a beating by hippopotamus hide to keep them in place.

Africa brought out the worst in humanity, crude and brutal tribalism on a massive scale. It is a wretched tale of savagery on almost every page, humans revealed for what they really are, from cannibal kings, despotic rulers, barbaric slave traders, psychotic and narcissistic colonial officials to the greedy and power-hungry politicians, generals and monarchs in Europe. There are plenty of tales too of famine, plague, malaria, dysentery and gangrenous ulcers the size of mushrooms filling the air with the stench of rotting flesh. Pakenham really packs in loads of history and entertains us with the death of Gordon, the escapades of Rhodes and of the terrible losses in the Boer War. Meanwhile, in the Tories’ club, the Carlton, it was ‘like the Zoological Gardens at feeding time.’ Hypocrisy, jingoism and imperialism unbound.

In the 1950s and 60s, there was a scramble to get out as European Empires collapsed, just as Lord Lugard predicted. Pakenham says there has now been a return to the informal empire of trade and influence, with Europe giving Africa the aspirations for freedom and human dignity. Not too sure on that last point, I think a bit too generous, and with the Chinese arriving in ever greater numbers, the horror story of exploitation is far from over.

With over 700 pages, it is quite a mammoth effort to read, and as others have mentioned difficult to retain all the facts, let alone the characters that contribute to the narrative. But if you persevere, you will be well rewarded with a story that is as much about the human condition, as it is to the historical details that Pakenham presents so lucidly.

Finally, I am a travel writer myself and have spent many months travelling across Africa and visiting some 15 countries from Morocco down to South Africa. This book has certainly given me a great insight into why Africa is the way it is today, with the mishmash of old colonial borders and tribal conflict as ingrained as ever. It will definitely help when I get round to writing my book on Africa. (I’m currently writing about the Indian subcontinent). So get stuck in and while away those long hours as you’re waiting patiently in yet another airport departure lounge, just like me.

Check out Terry's Travels
Images in this review
Customer image
Customer image
20 people found this helpful
Report abuse
yachty1949
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 15, 2019
Verified Purchase
8 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Vicki West
5.0 out of 5 stars If Only School History Had Been as Interesting!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 13, 2020
Verified Purchase
4 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Rob C
4.0 out of 5 stars A detailed look at the dividing of a continent
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 10, 2015
Verified Purchase
20 people found this helpful
Report abuse
NIKKITA-MM
5.0 out of 5 stars THE (INGLORIOUS) SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 21, 2017
Verified Purchase
9 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Pages with related products. See and discover other items: history of south africa, scramble for africa