Friday, December 5, 2014

“The Daring Heart of David Livingstone” by Jay Milbrandt

The thesis behind “Daring Heart” is that Livingstone brought about, or at least was very instrumental in, the end of the slave trade in eastern Africa. It recounts the multiple failed exploration expeditions Livingstone undertook after his rise to fame. While he had multiple intents, and failed to achieve any of them, the book focuses on Livingstone’s expressed ulterior motive of ending the slave trade. And, in that effort the book argues to some degree, he succeeded.

Unfortunately, the story as presented here is fairly dry and uninspiring. It is precise, accurate, and thorough. However, for such a fascinating event, the account here is a slog. And, the fact that the events recounted here are frustrating and disheartening, it does not make for an easy read.

I am now inspired to seek out Stanley’s account. Perhaps it would be a better read recounting these important events.

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