Thomas Pakenham, The Scramble for Africa, 1876-1912
In scarcely half a generation during the late 19th century, six European powers sliced up Africa like a cake. The pieces went to Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Belgium; among them, they acquired thirty new colonies and 110 million subjects. Although African rulers resisted, many battles were one-sided massacres. In a dramatic, gripping chronicle, Pakenham floodlights the so-called "dark continent" and its systematic exploitation by Europe. At center stage are a motley band of explorers, politicians, evangelists, mercenaries, journalists and tycoons blinded by romantic nationalism or caught up in the scramble for resources, markets and slaves. Pakenham offers a well-researched, readable, and highly detailed account. In an epilogue Pakenham tells how the former colonial powers still dominate the economies of the African nations, many of which are under one-party or dictatorial rule.
Interests: geography, exploration, comparative imperialism