Martin Dugard is the author of Farther Than Any Man: The Rise and Fall of Captain James Cook, Knockdown: The Harrowing True Account of a Yacht Race Turned Deadly, and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller, Survivor: The Ultimate Game. His dispatches have appeared in GQ, Sports Illustrated, and Esquire. A lifelong adventurer, he completed the Raid Gauloise race and was coholder of the Around the World Speed Record. He lives in Orange County, California.
Dugard (Farther Than Any Man: The Rise and Fall of Captain James Cook) has written a riveting history focusing on the famous meeting of Dr. David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley in east Africa. Victorian explorer extraordinaire, Livingstone returned to Africa in 1866 to search for the disputed source of the Nile for the Royal Geographical Society. Stanley, a reporter for the New York Herald, was sent to Africa in 1870 to find Livingstone, who was feared dead. His dispatches continued to fan the flame of worldwide interest in Livingstone while also managing to "twist the tiger's tale" by condemning the British for abandoning their hero. Dugard details how the expeditions were conceived and equipped, the land through which they traveled, the tribes they encountered, the horrific evidence of the slave trade, and the myriad dangers experienced, such as sleeping sickness, malaria, carnivorous animals, snakes, war, hunger, and dehydration. Following the two men's journeys in alternating chapters, Dugard offers a text that is lively, enthralling, and informative. While not replacing the multiple full biographies of either man, this work is nevertheless highly recommended for all libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/02.]-Margaret Atwater-Singer, Univ. of Evansville Libs., IN Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
It is rare when a historical narrative keeps readers up late into the night, especially when the story is as well known as Henry Morgan Stanley's search for the missionary and explorer David Livingstone. But author and adventurer Dugard, who's written a biography of Capt. James Cook among other works, makes a suspenseful tale out of journalist Stanley's successful trek through the African interior to find and rescue a stranded Livingstone. Dugan has read extensively in unpublished diaries, newspapers of the time and the archives of Britain's Royal Geographical Society; he also visited the African locations central to the story. Together these sources enable him to re-create with immediacy the astounding hardships, both natural and manmade, that Africa put in the path of the two central characters. Dugard also presents thoughtful insights into the psychology of both Stanley and Livingstone, whose respective responses to Africa could not have differed more. Stanley was bent on beating Africa with sheer force of will, matching it brutality for brutality, while Livingstone, possessed of spirituality and a preternatural absence of any fear of death, responded to the continent's harshness with patience and humility. Descriptions of the African landscape are vivid, as are the descriptions of malaria, dysentery, sleeping sickness, insect infestations, monsoons and tribal wars, all of which Stanley and Livingstone faced. More disturbing, however is Dugard's depiction of the prosperous Arab slave trade, which creates a sense of menace that often reaches Conradian intensity. This is a well-researched, always engrossing book. Agent, Eric Simonoff. (On sale May 6) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Adult/High School-A superb tale of adventure, heroism, and suffering. Dugard provides essential background information between generous servings of heart-pounding excitement. The story begins in the spring of 1866 as David Livingstone was leaving Zanzibar for Mikindary to begin his search for the source of the Nile. Meanwhile, Henry Stanley, an unremarkable freelance writer, embarked on his own adventure, a journey east from Colorado that began by rafting the South Platte River. He hoped for a career as a newspaper reporter in New York. The activities of each man are described in alternate chapters. Rich biographical detail contributes to readers' understanding of the men's backgrounds and characters. This is not a tale for the squeamish: exhausted men slogging through fetid swamps succumb to horrifying diseases; roving bandits mutilate and devour their captives. Using the men's detailed journals, the archives of the Royal Geographic Society, newspaper reports, an impressive collection of secondary sources, and a few black-and-white photographs, the author provides readers with a picture of the time that is as compelling as the story of the search. Details about the role of newspapers, the management of ships, the debates about slavery, and many other topics enrich this book. The volume ends with the burial of Livingstone in Westminster Abbey, but an epilogue provides brief notes on the remainder of the lives of the other major figures in the story.-Kathy Tewell, Chantilly Regional Library, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
"An action-packed recounting of one of the most famous incidents in
the history of exploration. Until well into the 19th century,
European geography textbooks portrayed central Africa as a vast,
uncharted wasteland, almost certainly a graveyard for any outsider
unwise enough to enter it. . . . In the late 1860s, [David]
Livingstone and a large entourage disappeared somewhere between
Zanzibar and Lake Tanganyika while poking around for the source of
the Nile. Enter New York Herald correspondent Henry
Morton Stanley. . . . Braving disease, difficult terrain, and all
manner of deprivation, Stanley for three years [followed]
Livingstone's trail, despairing of ever finding the senior
explorer. . . . Fine entertainment for adventure buffs, solidly
researched and fluently told."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)