Dark Safari: The Life Behind the Legend of Henry Morton Stanley

John Bierman, Author Alfred A. Knopf $24.95 (401p) ISBN 978-0-394-58342-6
A savagely deprived childhood rendered John Rowlands something of an emotional cripple, yet this unloved illegitimate son of a housemaid became Sir Henry Morton Stanley, the celebrated African explorer. Evasion, suppression and falsification were his defenses against the abandonment, rejection and betrayal that haunted his life--and it is the reality behind these Walter Mitty-like defenses that is the subject of this stimulating, well-documented biography. Until he ``discovered'' Livingstone in 1871, Stanley was essentially a ruthless, driven reporter on the trail of a scoop, but after their meeting he became a searcher for rivers and mountains, lakes and deserts, in a quest for self-esteem. This is an epic tale of epic journeys by a swaggering little man who, at his worst, writes Bierman ( Righteous Gentile: The Story of Raoul Wallenberg ), was ``a bully, a braggart, a hypocrite and a liar'' and at his best was ``steadfast, brave, enduring, resourceful, and an inspired leader.'' Photos. BOMC and History Book Club alternates. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1990
Release date: 11/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-0168-9
Paperback - 978-0-292-70802-0
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