A Labyrinth of Kingdoms by Steve Kemper
10,000 Miles through Islamic Africa

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Mr. Kemper is wrong to say that Barth's "feats" equaled those of David Livingstone...
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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. By delivering the first biography on Barth in English, Steve Kemper goes a long way to rescue this fascinating figure from obscurity.

About Steve Kemper

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Steve Kemper is the author of Code Name Ginger. His work has appeared in many national publications, including Smithsonian and National Geographic. He lives in West Hartford, Connecticut.
Published June 25, 2012 by W. W. Norton & Company. 441 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Education & Reference, Travel, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction
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WSJ online

Below average
Reviewed by Tim Jeal on Jul 13 2012

Mr. Kemper is wrong to say that Barth's "feats" equaled those of David Livingstone...

Read Full Review of A Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,0... | See more reviews from WSJ online

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