Top positive review
How history books should be written.
on 24 May 2015
For such a talented historian and author, it can only be described as a shame that Thomas Pakenham has written so few books in this genre. The narrative draws you in as though you're reading the latest thriller, despite the subject matter being extremely complex and multi-faceted.
"The Scramble for Africa" covers approximately a 40 year period, the entire continent of Africa, and the major powers of Western Europe. The number of characters are vast and at sometimes overwhelming. Pakenham does a remarkable job in weaving these various strands together into a coherent tapestry that explain why and how the continent looks as it does today, and the role that Europe had in this.
Weighing in at 738 pages, this book had the potential to drag, but Pakenham's delightful narrative ensures that, with a good degree of concentration, this incredible period of history unfolds in a clear, concise manner. This is exactly how history books should be written.