Imperial Footprints: Henry Morton Stanleyy

Imperial Footprints: Henry Morton Stanleyy

by James L. Newman
     
 

“Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” The man who uttered those famous words was compared with Christopher Columbus in his day and became one of the late nineteenth century’s most newsworthy figures. Yet, one hundred years after Henry Morton Stanley’s death, his accomplishments in Africa have largely receded from public memory or have been

Overview


“Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” The man who uttered those famous words was compared with Christopher Columbus in his day and became one of the late nineteenth century’s most newsworthy figures. Yet, one hundred years after Henry Morton Stanley’s death, his accomplishments in Africa have largely receded from public memory or have been discredited as epitomizing the wrongs inflicted by the scourge of European colonialism and its “scramble for Africa.” While numerous writers have attempted to describe the man, sometimes through highly speculative means, our understanding of the most notable aspect of Stanley’s life, his relationship to the continent, isn’t much more advanced than it was one hundred years ago.

To fill this void, James L. Newman re-creates Stanley’s seven epic African journeys, explaining why he made them, what transpired en route, and what resulted. He highlights Stanley’s determination to succeed despite incredible odds and his various relationships with the people who enabled him to accomplish his objectives. And while he acknowledges Stanley’s less admirable traits, such as his penchant for stretching the truth, his capacity to be ruthless, and his tendency to demean others, Newman refuses to engage in facile speculation. Instead, he focuses on the words and deeds of a man who played a major role in shaping today’s Africa.

James L. Newman’s in-depth research, detailed descriptions, and vivid prose make Stanley and Africa both a fascinating read and a notable contribution to the study of Africa, exploration, and the age of empire.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Ripping . . . Gives us a hard-eyed look at Stanley."

"The blend of history, biography, and travelogue makes for an exciting blend of researched fact and drama which reads like fiction, giving Imperial Footprints an edge over other coverages on Stanley.

"A most interesting book . . . Newman successfully integrates the historic and the geographic. . . . Maps, illustrations, and notes help reveal one of the epic undertakings in African exploration. Recommended."

"The most complete and rigorous biography of this controversial person . . . As well as shining light on the most obscure aspects of the person, Newman sums up in magisterial fashion the great journeys of Stanley in Africa . . . with maps of each of them of singular quality."

"Imperial Footprints is a fine and impeccably researched book. For a record of Stanley’s career and achievements, I doubt this account can be bettered."

"Imperial Footprints is a comprehensive and balanced evaluation of the journeys of the most provocative, and most successfully heroic, imperial explorer of the later nineteenth century, Henry Morton Stanley. . . . Enhanced by numerous maps, it will surely establish a benchmark in imperial historiography for many years to come."

"A fascinating and engaging portrait of Henry Morton Stanley . . . Imperial Footprints is sure to be enjoyed by general readers and to be tremendously useful to historians, geographers, and professional Africanists.

"Newman provides not only a more sympathetic (and nonjudgmental) portrait of the diminutive adventurer whose affinity with Africa was unparalleled, but also, through extensive research in enormously valuable hitherto untapped sources of Stanley's writings, we now learn about his innermost thoughts. . . . His utilization of Stanley's private notebooks and revised journals . . . is both remarkable and meritorious. . . . Newman's narrative provides a dimension not seen in earlier biographies. . . . Newman's study is a tour de force. . . . Not only is Imperial Footprints instructive, it is a delightful and exciting read."

"Allows the reader to gain an understanding of Stanley's relationship to Africa, an aspect largely overlooked in other Stanley biographies that tend to take more of a psychological approach to understanding the man. . . . Landscapes and people encountered are described in vivid detail. . . . Comprehensive and well-researched, Imperial Footprints is also enjoyable reading. The book is filled with interesting insights. . . . This is a welcome addition to the relatively few Africa-focused biographies. Newman presents a nuanced portrait of Stanley that does not gloss over or make excuses for his disagreeable thoughts or acts. General audiences will appreciate Imperial Footprintsalong with Africanists, historians, and geographers."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781574887235
Publisher:
Potomac Books
Publication date:
01/31/2006
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
15 Years

Meet the Author

James L. Newman is a professor emeritus of geography at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. His books include Imperial Footprints: Henry Morton Stanley’s African Journeys (Potomac Books, Inc., 2006), The Peopling of Africa, Eliminating Hunger in Africa with Daniel Griffith, and Contemporary Africa with C. Gregory Knight. He lives in Syracuse, New York.

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