Pioneer Merchant Trader: The Life and Times of Otto Markus

Pioneer Merchant Trader: The Life and Times of Otto Markus

by Eve A. Pollecoff


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The Scramble for Africa in the 1880s showed European interest in Africa at its most intense and today evokes a picture of the great European powers engaged in a frantic struggle for supremacy and for control of Africa and its resources. Eve Pollecoff here tells the story of Otto Markus - Pioneer Merchant Trader - who established his East African Trading Company in the wake of growing British interest in East Africa: especially Kenya and Uganda. The influence of Markus's company stretched from East Africa to Europe, and to the USA and Brazil, embracing skins and hides, domestic goods, agricultural produce, and the Ford Motor Company agency. The company survived two world wars, waves of anti-Semitism in Europe, and pioneered staple crops for which Africa became famous, especially cotton and coffee. Pollecoff paints an impressive portrait of Otto Markus as a dynamic international entrepreneur, the focus of a large and traditional family, and, above all, the embodiment - perhaps unwittingly - of informal empire.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781848859371
Publisher: Radcliffe Press, The
Publication date: 02/28/2012
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Eve Pollecoff was born in Mombasa, Kenya and is the granddaughter of Otto Markus. She received early education locally, including Kenya High School, Nairobi, before Cheltenham Ladies College. After St. Andrew's University and postgraduate work at Oxford University, she worked for the Economist Intelligence Unit and after a period living in the USA, taught history of ballet at Rambert Ballet School and at the Stella Mann School, before returning to the EIU. She has served as a JP on the Richmond Bench. Eve Pollecoff has written the life of her grandfather as a contribution to the economic history of East Africa, as a family history, and especially as a fond debt to her grandfather's memory.

Table of Contents

• Beginnings
• The Start of his Career
• And so to Africa
• First Up Country Trip
• First Journeys to Uganda
• Uganda Safaris and Discoveries
• The Trading Start 1904 to 1914
• Personal Interlude
• Rudl's 23 Month Congo Journey
• Final Pre 1914 War Developments
• The First World War
• Post War and Peace
• The Second East African Start
• Coffee
• The Inter War Years
• The Final Years
• Conclusion

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