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The Scramble for Africa astonished everyone.
In 1880 most of the continent was ruled by Africans, and barely explored. By 1902, five European Powers (and one extraordinary individual) had grabbed almost the whole continent, giving themselves 30 new colonies and protectorates and 10 million square miles of new territory, and 110 million bewildered new subjects.
Thomas Pakenham¿s story of the conquest of Africa is recognised as one of the finest narrative histories of the last few decades. We are given arresting vignettes of the main players. Lord Derby, protesting at ¿this absurd scramble¿; the Belgian Emperor King Leopold II grabbing and ruthlessly exploiting the rubber deposits in the Congo; and Prince Otto von Bismarck casually munching on prawns at the Congress of Berlin while determining the fate of millions.
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'Magnificent, vigorous, comprehensive, compulsive reading' DAILY TELEGRAPH *'Memorable history on a grand scale . . . brilliant . . . thrilling, fast moving, imaginative, coherent' INDEPENDENT *' A phenomenal achievement . . . clear, authoritative and compelling' William Boyd, DAILY TELEGRAPH *'Grim as well as gripping reading . . . Pakenham writes racily and humorously . . . a magnificent, swash buckling, blood-bolstered epic' OBSERVERFrom the Publisher:
…magnificent, swashbuckling, blood-bolstered epic… Observer vast, scholarly and delightful Spectator.
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