The Last Expedition: Stanley's Mad Journey Through the Congo

 
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The Last Expedition: Stanley's Mad Journey Through the Congo

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Henry Morton Stanley undertook the greatest African expedition of the nineteenth century to rescue Emin Pasha, last lieutenant of the martyred General Gordon and governor of the southern Sudan. Emin had been cut off by an Islamic jihad to the north and was at the mercy of brutal slave traders. Instead of ten months, the trip took three years and cost the lives of thousands of people, as Stanley's column hacked its way across the last great, unexplored territory in Africa.



Stanley's secret agenda was territorial expansion on the model of Leopold's Congo or the British East India Company, and what is revealed so vividly in the diaries of those who accompanied him is the dark underside of both the man and the colonial impulse. The expedition took whatever it wanted from the Africans, and when Africans were killed defending their possessions, they didn't even rate an entry in Stanley's journal.

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