Children's Literature - Kathleen KarrPart of the "Beyond the Horizons" series on explorers who influenced world changes, this volume explains the status of nineteenth-century Africa fairly cogently. It also describes the backgrounds of journalist Stanley and missionary Livingston, setting them within a continent on the brink of exploitation and explaining how their historic meeting on the banks of Lake Tanganyika ("Dr. Livingstone, I presume?") became a catalyst for this exploitation. It's hard to debunk some of the more romantic and adventurous moments in history, but Stanley and Livingstone does so thoughtfully.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 5-8Although the books' titles seem to indicate biographies of explorers, the contents actually focus more on history, nature, and anthropology. Peary and Amundsen discusses historical background, transportation, and equipment before considering the lives of the two adventurers. Likewise, Gagarin and Armstrong begins with history, and then addresses technology, and reaches mid-book before presenting brief biographical sketches of the astronauts. The vastly different personalities of Stanley and Livingstone are given somewhat fuller attention. Livingstone, driven by his vehement Christian and anti-slavery beliefs, clearly comes through as the more compassionate of the two, despite the sketchy coverage Twist gives to most episodes of Stanley's ruthless exploits. All three books are attractively packaged with spacious layouts and full-color and black-and-white reproductions and photographs. The text is written in an easy-to-grasp style, but the glossary terms are not indicated throughout by italic or bold print. While light on biographical detail, these volumes may fill a niche in collections interested in overviews of the subjects and background information on the times. Readers seeking more extensive coverage would be better served by Madelyn Anderson's Robert E. Peary and the Fight for the North Pole (Watts, 1992) and Steven Sherman's Henry Stanley and the European Explorers of Africa (Chelsea, 1993).Anita Palladino, Finkelstein Memorial Library, Spring Valley, NY
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