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Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles Through Islamic Africa | [Steve Kemper]

Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles Through Islamic Africa

In 1849 Heinrich Barth joined a small British expedition into unexplored regions of Islamic North and Central Africa. One by one his companions died, but he carried on alone, eventually reaching the fabled city of gold, Timbuktu. His five-and-a-half-year, 10,000-mile adventure ranks among the greatest journeys in the annals of exploration, and his discoveries are considered indispensable by modern scholars of Africa.
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Publisher's Summary

A true story that rivals the travels of Burton or Stanley for excitement, and surpasses them in scientific achievements.

In 1849 Heinrich Barth joined a small British expedition into unexplored regions of Islamic North and Central Africa. One by one his companions died, but he carried on alone, eventually reaching the fabled city of gold, Timbuktu. His five-and-a-half-year, 10,000-mile adventure ranks among the greatest journeys in the annals of exploration, and his discoveries are considered indispensable by modern scholars of Africa.

Yet because of shifting politics, European preconceptions about Africa, and his own thorny personality, Barth has been almost forgotten. The general public has never heard of him, his epic journey, or his still-pertinent observations about Africa and Islam; and his monumental five-volume Travels and Discoveries in North and Central Africa is rare even in libraries. Though he made his journey for the British government, he has never had a biography in English. Barth and his achievements have fallen through a crack in history.

©2012 Steve Kemper (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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    Peggy Washington, DC, United States 01-15-14
    Peggy Washington, DC, United States 01-15-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A journey without maps"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The audio book outlining the travels of Henrich Barth would have been better with maps. If there were no maps in Kemper's book, then the fault is with the author; if there were maps and they were not offered in pdf format, then the fault is with audiobooks.


    What was most disappointing about Steve Kemper’s story?

    The most disappointing thing about Steve Kemper's story was being made acutely aware of the fighting in Central Africa. Tribal and religious violence, as described in Kemper's tale in the mid-nineteenth century is too much different from what we see on the evening news.


    Which character – as performed by Ed Phillips – was your favorite?

    Philips gave a clear performance throughout so all characters were clearly distinguishable.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Only if it were shot on location.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine 11-01-13
    George dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine 11-01-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Too much of one person"

    This book is a well organised biography of a German scientist exploring Africa. But in my view author concentrates too much on the question of Barth's personality along with difficulties he had endured but there are almost no details of Barth's impressions of the countries he was in, mosly generalisations. This makes this book not an interesting one to people who would like to know more on the Africa of those times.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcus Vorwaller Seattle, WA USA 04-15-14
    Marcus Vorwaller Seattle, WA USA 04-15-14 Member Since 2005
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    "This is one explorer who shouldn't be forgotten"

    In 1849 Heinrich Barth joined a small British expedition into unexplored regions of Islamic North and Central Africa. One by one his companions died, but he carried on alone, eventually reaching the fabled city of gold, Timbuktu. His five-and-a-half-year, 10,000-mile adventure ranks among the greatest journeys in the annals of exploration, and his discoveries are considered indispensable by modern scholars of Africa.

    Yet because of shifting politics, European preconceptions about Africa, and his own thorny personality, Barth has been almost forgotten. The general public has never heard of him, his epic journey, or his still-pertinent observations about Africa and Islam; and his monumental five-volume Travels and Discoveries in North and Central Africa is rare even in libraries. Though he made his journey for the British government, he has never had a biography in English. Barth and his achievements have fallen through a crack in history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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