Heroes of Empire: Five Charismatic Men and the Conquest of Africa

Overview


During the decades of empire (1870–1914), legendary heroes and their astonishing deeds of conquest gave imperialism a recognizable human face. Henry Morton Stanley, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, Charles Gordon, Jean-Baptiste Marchand, and Hubert Lyautey all braved almost unimaginable dangers among “savage” people for their nation’s greater good. This vastly readable book, the first comparative history of colonial heroes in Britain and France, shows via unforgettable portraits the shift from public veneration of ...
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Heroes of Empire: Five Charismatic Men and the Conquest of Africa

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Overview


During the decades of empire (1870–1914), legendary heroes and their astonishing deeds of conquest gave imperialism a recognizable human face. Henry Morton Stanley, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, Charles Gordon, Jean-Baptiste Marchand, and Hubert Lyautey all braved almost unimaginable dangers among “savage” people for their nation’s greater good. This vastly readable book, the first comparative history of colonial heroes in Britain and France, shows via unforgettable portraits the shift from public veneration of the peaceful conqueror to unbridled passion for the vanquishing hero. Edward Berenson argues that these five men transformed the imperial steeplechase of those years into a powerful “heroic moment.” He breaks new ground by linking the era’s “new imperialism” to its “new journalism”—the penny press—which furnished the public with larger-than-life figures who then embodied each nation’s imperial hopes and anxieties.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An utterly enthralling and elegantly-crafted work which grips from its arresting opening sentence."--Journal of African History

"An extremely readable book comparing Henry Morton Stanley, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, Charles Gordon, Jean-Baptiste Marchand and Hubert Lyautey."--Times Higher Education

"A fascinating book."--Journal of Modern History

"Recommended for students and scholars of African colonial history, as well as for those who like to read about adventurers in Africa."--Library Journal

"Berenson's writing style is easily accessible to all levels of study, making this a valuable addition for teaching and research."

--Victorian Poetry

Journal Of African History

“An utterly enthralling and elegantly-crafted work which grips from its arresting opening sentence.”
Times Higher Education - Joanna Lewis

“An extremely readable book comparing Henry Morton Stanley, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, Charles Gordon, Jean-Baptiste Marchand and Hubert Lyautey.”
Journal Of Modern History - Raymond Jonas

“A fascinating book.”
Victorian Poetry - Rachel K. Bright

“Berenson’s writing style is easily accessible to all levels of study, making this a valuable addition for teaching and research.”
Library Journal
From 1870 to 1914 Britain and France jostled for control of central and western Africa. The penny press of the day churned out procolonial propaganda that made heroes of the men and few women who ventured to Africa carrying out their countries' expansionist aims. Berenson (history, New York Univ.; The Trial of Madame Caillaux) focuses on five of these "charismatic heroes": Charles Gordon, Henry Morton Stanley, Jean-Baptiste Marchand, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, and Hubert Lyautey. During their lifetimes, they exerted a great deal of influence over colonial policymaking, unified the people of their home countries, and exemplified the types of values many felt were lacking in France and England at the time. Instead of focusing on these explorers' treatment of native Africans, the author's intention is to explore how the five were viewed and understood by their contemporaries through examination of the popular press's coverage of their exploits. In doing so, Berenson adds to the growing body of literature on African colonialism that refutes the old theory of "public indifference" toward British and French expansion. VERDICT This book is recommended for students and scholars of African colonial history, as well as for those who like to read about adventurers in Africa.—Jason Martin, Univ. of Central Florida, Orlando
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520272583
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2012
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Edward Berenson is Professor of History and Director of the Institute of French Studies at New York University. He is the author of Populist Religion and Left-Wing Politics in France and The Trial of Madame Caillaux (UC Press).
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction 1

1 Henry Morton Stanley and the new Journalism 22

2 Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza and the Making of the French Third Republic 49

3 Charles Gordon, Imperial Saint 83

4 The "Stanley Craze" 122

5 Jean-Baptiste Marchand, Fashoda, and the Dreyfus Affair 166

6 Brazza and the Scandal of the Congo 197

7 Hubert Lyautey and the French Seizure of Morocco 228

Epilogue 263

Notes 287

Index 343

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