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The Scramble For Africa Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
While over 20 years old, this book may be the definitive guide for the topic. Thomas Parkenham's work goes into great detail, but not in a dry way, looking at the not just the scramble, but also at events leading up to it over different time periods. The book is broken into 4 parts, the situation in Africa before the scramble begins, the start of the actual scramble lading up to the Conference of Berlin of 1885 where rules were put into place to govern the allocation of territory from the African cake(though these rules were not enforced) and where Leopold of Belgium managed to manipulate the great powers and had his possessions in the Congo (over 1 million square miles!) ratified. The next section deals with the main land grab of Africa and then the last main part shows the resistance to the European powers and the reform efforts that were undertaken by said Powers.Read more ›
It could've been condensed into say 400 pages. A glossary of names would have helped.
Maybe it shouldn't be read in one go as it gets too stodgy?!
But it has inspired me to find out more about Africa generally.
It covers the era at the end of the 19thC when the european powers started carving up africa and attempts to answer some of the questions about why nations did this (the answer, it seems, is to stop others getting there first), and how.
Some of the detail is wonderful and you are struck by how much research Pakenham must have done. Unfortunately, in trying to cover a whole continent, Pakenham does tend to focus on the british angle and the big events at the expense of other nations, so there's a lot about the Belgian Congo, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan and Nigeria - but you're left wondering about the likes of Liberia, Libya, Senegal and others.
No one comes out particularly well, and towards the end there are some real horror stories. This is as much a lesson in politics as history, and essential reading about an area we should know more about already.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Detailed, maybe too detailed for some.
I had to give up on it about one third of the way through.
Probably a good book for history nuts
Great start for me - leading onto other reading in this area.Published 12 months ago by Mr. P. C. B. Connolly
A tour de force of African history - only sorry I had not found it earlier - easily beats all the other books I have read on this subject.Published 15 months ago by JACB
You can't deny the ambition of this excellent book. It's a very engaging read and I found the subject matter to be very interesting. Read morePublished 16 months ago by FuriousFurian
Wonderful full-size info about who (and why) did what to unlucky AfricaPublished 16 months ago by Y. Yordanov