Blood River: A Journey to Afica's Broken Heart by Tim Butcher

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This tale of adventure and travel was as engrossing as it was educational. Working as a reporter in Africa, the author became obsessed with the exploits of storied explorer Henry Morton Stanley. Stanley, famous for uttering the classic quote, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume,” when he located the missing explorer along the shores of Lake Tanganyika in 1871, was also the first explorer to chart the Congo River and it’s territories. The second largest river in Africa, the Congo River runs through Central/Western Africa for almost 3000 miles, most of which is surrounded by jungle and wilderness.

Obsessed with recreating the route Stanley took over one hundred years ago, the author started his adventure on the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of Congo and started heading west across Africa. Assisted by missionary groups, United Nations employees and a pygmy leader, Butcher followed the tracks of Stanley on foot, by motorbike and by dugout canoe. Making his way through inhospitable jungle and terrain ruled by murderous “mai-mai” or Congolese militia, Butcher travels down the Blood River and discovers the “broken heart” of Africa in the process.

Over 1500 lives are lost daily in the Congo from disease, starvation and genocide and Butcher bravely describes the poverty, injustice, corruption, brutality and kindness with an eye for detail and an unwavering voice. This was truly a fascinating read. Check catalog for availability.

- Submitted by Dan @ Central

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This page contains a single entry by Dan K. published on February 6, 2009 12:40 PM.

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