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Scramble for Africa by Thomas Pakenham

Scramble for Africa (original 2013; edition 1992)

by Thomas Pakenham

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8521010,533 (4.21)25
Title:Scramble for Africa
Authors:Thomas Pakenham
Info:Abacus (1992), Paperback, 800 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, read in 2013

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The Scramble for Africa : the white man's conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912 by Thomas Pakenham (2013)

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A very thorough history of the European imperial ventures into 'Darkest Africa', focusing on the years 1876 to 1912, but giving ample background to explorations prior to those years. For those curious about the troubles of Africa, this provides excellent background. ( )
  BruceCoulson | Mar 13, 2014 |
This is everything you want to know about the background of Africa's beginnings from 1878 to 1912. In a very comprehensive and detailed prose Pakenham uncovers the early "scramble" Europeans made to conquer the unknown "dark" territory. In just under 30 years most of the continent was claimed and "civilized" by five different greedy European powers. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Jul 15, 2013 |
Africa.... we all need to know the history of interactions between cultures and nations in the 19th century in order to appreciate the struggles in the 20th. ( )
  kday_working | Apr 7, 2013 |
A leading modern reference on the topic. Wonderfully comprehensive & integrated, but also somewhat panoramic. ( )
  nielspeterqm | Dec 12, 2012 |
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. A complex group of stories of European conquest and colonial subjugation of Africa in the 19th century interwoven nicely and well written by the author. Slavery, of course, reared its ugly head and played a part (by Europeans, Asians from the Middle East and some Africans subjugating other Africans) in portions of the narrative.

The conquests were by, of course, a who's who of European powers sometimes dividing up the continent in a friendly, pre-agreed way (among themselves) and sometimes playing power politics and fighting against each other. While Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany all played their parts; the story of the Belgians in the Congo is quite interesting and prominent in the book and involves all sorts of deals and machinations with other powers.

All-in-all, not a moment of pride for Europeans. Obviously, similar things went on in North & South America, parts of Asia, Australia, New Zealand, islands in the Caribbean and in the Pacific and sundry portions of the globe, mostly earlier in time than the African continent subjugation.

A side issue just somewhat reflected in the book was the artificial splitting up of land into "countries" that didn't have continuity necessarily with the existing tribal groups. In other words, you ended up with country A including tribe 1 and a part of tribes 2 & 3, leaving the rest of 2 & 3 in other "countries." Some of those artificialities are reflected in tensions that still exist today on the continent.

Luckily for me, I was a nerd who collected stamps as a kid in the 1950s, so I had some exposure to the African colonies formed in the 19th century through the stamps. I just knew that background would come to some use! ( )
5 vote bookblotter | Jan 31, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380719991, Paperback)

White Man's Conquest of the Dark Continent
from 1876 to 1912

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:50 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"The White Man's conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912"--Jacket subtitle.

(summary from another edition)

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