When I study an atlas and look at the borders of any European Country, I see few straight lines. When I turn to the page on Africa, there are many straight lines. The story behind these lines is one of greed, cruelty, heroism, misguided pride and sadness.
Thomas Pakenham has written more than a book. He has written a history lesson. I came away from this beginning to know and understand present day problems in Africa - by looking at the universal starting point for society's problems, history.
All the major players are here. France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Arabia and last, but not least, my own country - Great Britain.
The colonial cake was originally fought over the Far East, The Americas, The Indian Subcontinent - until the European, a little late (1870), and, reluctantly at first, found the great prize of Africa.
Gold, Diamonds, Game, Land, Copper...
Then the scramble, the squabling, the division.
An adventure built on the heroics of early explorers ended up in tears.. on all sides. George Pakenham tells you how, in a sweeping, impartial account. He lets the reader decide.
I guarantee that if you read this book, your views on Africa will be changed for ever.