The guy was relentless in pursuit of his goals, but frequently extremely lost and discouraged. Plus his wife died of a fever in Africa while someone else was raising their kids back in England. Big chunks of this book are kind of a downer, but I guess that’s life.
“The mere animal pleasure of traveling in a wild unexplored country is very great.”
~Dr. David Livingstone
The British missionary explorer! An adventurous American journalist! The Sultan of Zanzibar! Of course I picked “The Daring Heart of David Livingstone—exile, African slavery, and the publicity stunt that saved millions” by Jay Milbrandt FOR FREE to read and review. I’ve always wanted to know more about Dr. David Livingstone (I presume). This book was enhanced by African red bush tea and Pounce.
“We are off again, and we trust that He who rules the waves will watch over us and remain with you, to bless us and to make us blessings to our fellow-men.”
~ Dr. David Livingstone, March 10, 1858, departing England for Africa
This book is some 250 pages following Livingstone in his African expeditions while touching back on public opinion and fervor in England and abroad, plus some study questions in the back.
Livingstone was famously mauled by a lion. He discovered treatment for malaria. He failed mightily to achieve exploratory goals set forth by his benefactors. His primary life goal of foiling the brutal East African slave trade was accomplished…but unfortunately he didn’t live to see it. Abolishing that slave trade is what the whole book is about, because that’s what Livingstone’s whole life was about.
I give this book four out of five stars because it deals with interesting history, is very readable, and contains a lot of sources. It’s like you’re there! But life in Africa in the 1860s sounds like a real drag. The rivers are all dangerous and unnavigable. Slave traders riled everyone up to attack and sell each other, so living there and traveling both were generally horrific. Rainy season flooded everything and stepping in an elephant footprint would send you floundering underwater. Supplies were constantly pilfered.
It’s a serious read, but worth reading if you’re interested in Dr. Livingstone. The best quotes are from Livingstone himself. The man wrote several books of his very own, after all. It turns out anyone can download them from Amazon FOR FREE.
The author quotes Livingstone making an excellent observation about Christ. Humans value rising above it all, or “lofty indifference to all trivial things.” Christ did the opposite, and is instead “minute in His care of all,” exercising constant vigilance over us. God cares that I’m changing poopy diapers all day long? That alone made the book worth reading.
“The day of Africa is yet to come.”
~Dr. David Livingstone