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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen The exploitation of a continent
This is a very industrious, detailed work on colonial occupation of Africa between 1876 and 1912 with an emphasis on the British contributions. The book is enriched with maps and contemporary drawings or photos.
It is not the first full scale study of that special episode in history, but one of the few which cover the whole of Africa and all 5 colonial powers who...
Veröffentlicht am 9. April 2009 von Roman Nies

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2.0 von 5 Sternen Difficult and tedious
I found this book difficult and tedious to read from the typeface on -- even though I'm interested in the subject and have a B.A. in Pol. Sci. It might be helpful for Africa scholars, but not for the general lay reader. I'd recommend instead Shillington's HISTORY OF AFRICA.
Veröffentlicht am 12. Oktober 1997 von Frank


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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen The exploitation of a continent, 9. April 2009
Von 
Roman Nies (Helibrunna) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Scramble for Africa (Taschenbuch)
This is a very industrious, detailed work on colonial occupation of Africa between 1876 and 1912 with an emphasis on the British contributions. The book is enriched with maps and contemporary drawings or photos.
It is not the first full scale study of that special episode in history, but one of the few which cover the whole of Africa and all 5 colonial powers who fought and raced for spreading their protecting, absolutely unselfish shield over the peoples of Africa.
It began with the explorers and the claims in the name of Christianity ( I mention the least concerning at first), Colonization and Commerce - I recognize: the three great "C"s - in fact the latter was the most important reason for conquest, at least for Britain, - "it was in Protestant Britain, where God an Mammon seemed made for each other", for Germany the reason was foremost to have reserves in political actions and a field for the America bent emigrants, for Belgium exploitation, for France the ideology of L`empire, for Italy the revival of the Roman Empire, for Portugal the trade. And rivalry for all of them, especially between France and Britain.
In the 19th century 10 million square miles with more than a hundred million people who mostly lived in smallest political units if at all, had to be taken into custody. Great challenge! Great performance to follow!
But how embarrassing in retrospection! Who could say today that the civilized nations had an obligation or even moral right to do what they have done, set a foot on African soil and trample down what stood in the way? The memories of the African people deny that the whole affair was very blessing. They could have gone without it. The funny thing is that the only African people who foster some colonial traditions with positive attitude towards the gone colonial power are the blacks in Tanzania and Namibia, former German colonies. It could be right to assume that the reason for this is that their masters had not so much time to exercise their blessings on them. They had to go after WW I. It is apparent, what followed - British rule - was no betterment.
Livingstone called Africa an open sore. The Arabs had overdrawn the continent with slave trade, not only for the own market, but also in service for the white people who build the glorious United States of America with the tears and blood of western African slaves.
It is safe to say that the activities of the colonial powers after Livingstone did not really heal the wounds. The Belgians in the Congo enslaved and tortured the blacks (the "enigmatic individual and self-styled philanthropic" controller of the heart of the continent: King Leopold II), the British in South Africa founded concentration camps for not cooperating Burs and ignored the rights of the independent Zulu nations, the French ruled with hard fists the proud desert tribes in North Africa, the Germans broke with merciless violence the resistance of self-determinate Herero tribes in the Southwest, not to speak of the Italian atrocities for the Christian nation of Abyssinia.
This all is described in the book. But also heroic enterprises, the brave undertakings of those who came first and went last. Who is not impressed by the struggle of General Gordon with his opponent the Mahdi in Sudan!
At that time "Africa" was in anybodies mind. The negligence of the European powers in the centuries before only enforced a hasty race for supremacy of African territories. In the first half of the explorers century Africa beyond its shores was a unique mystery, but "Suddenly, in half a generation, the scramble gave Europe virtually the whole, continent".
It was the age when Europe was at the peak of power and influence in the world, the modern age was to begin, industrialization, the military underwent a tremendous development which made the Europeans superior to all potential adversaries. The Maxim gun - not trade or the cross - became the symbol of the age in Africa (though in practise the wretched thing jammed).
The Whites could perform whatever they wanted. It was at the same time that the Wild, West of Northern America was "civilized" by wiping out the bison and whipping the Red Indians without remorse.
A great chance, a divine task for somebody like Livingstone! But he was no politician. This book brings to live the memory of many who responded to Livingstone`s call in their own fashion. They were all possessed by some sort of romantic nationalism, sailors, journalists, soldiers, pedagogues, missionaries, gold and diamond tycoons who poured into the inner country. Real men were needed. Many of them were outsiders of one kind or another. All with an imperialistic zeal to serve their country "Not only would they save Africa from itself. Africa would be the saving of their own countries". Then it became more a political playfield. Brutalities were commonplace during the first phase of occupation by the Powers. "Europe had imposed its will on Africa at the point of a gun. It was a lesson that would be remembered, fifty years later, when Africa came to win its independence."
The author decided to embrace the whole final hectic phase of the partition, beginning with the prelude in 1876 with King Leopolds crusade and ending in 1912 with the Italian invasion into Libya at the evening of WW I. In between the chapters contain the opening of the paths into dominating Africa - from Zululand to Tunis, support of the Khedive of Egypt and Sudan, the Belgian "philanthropic" enterprise, the change of mind of Bismarck; the emerging and introduction of the rights to conquer and rule, established, staring with the loss of Gordons head to the end of the Mahdi; the resistance and reforms that foreshadow the acknowledgement of granting self-determination and independence, the final curtain not being Leopolds death.
The Epilogue gives an outlook to the modern times when the conditions in Africa have become worse than ever. Questions arise if the Europeans left too soon. Be that as it may, their advent was ruthless, there stay not much better, so what do you expect of the powers that usurped the vacant chairs? Europe had a chance. They failed.
Rhodesia was the last to get free - and dead, the land which Rhodes and his men had grabbed from Lobengula. "The scramble out of Africa in the eleven years from 1957 to 1968 was pursued at the same undignified pace, taking the world as much by surprise, as the scramble into Africa more than half a century earlier."
"Door-closing-panic" seized the ex-colonial powers, first they hastened to get in and finally they hastened to get out, leaving a disappointing half century in desolate places behind them. The British did not even manage to build a railroad from Cairo to Capetown, although all dominated territory. Gone was the empire building but not blessing alliance of "God and Mammon" that had helped to launch the scramble. "Both the men of God and the men of business had begun to see that formal empire was counter productive". Colonies were becoming unfashionable. Even before the First World war. India became more interesting for Britain, because the Indians were more industrious and more promising consumers for the trading nation.
After all, these haphazard blocks old scrub and desert, peppered with ill-matched tribes, had neither geographical nor political unity. Many had been kept divided, the better to rule them. The British also missed to educate the people to get a capable and efficient elite. They did not want to have intelligence and they got it. This was a grave miscalculation.
In desperation Britain and France launched a crash programme in nation-building. The French war in Algeria had a scale and horror hardly matched by anything the other Powers experienced, although Britain had a hard fight during the rebellions in Kenya.
Meanwhile white business men have continued to make their fortunes in Africa. The new world is neo-colonialism. It is almost as in the beginning centuries ago when the Portuguese sailed along the African coasts to set up trade stations.
Whether Europe succeeded at least to transform an idea of freedom and human dignity, as the author wishes, who believes in the humanitarian ideals of Livingstone (which were rather Christian ideals) to the people of Africa, is something very much to be doubted. Africa is the most violent place in these days.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen History of Victorian Africa Exploration, 21. März 1997
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Scramble for Africa... (Taschenbuch)
"Scramble for Africa" is a military and diplomatic history of Victorian African exploration.

As a whole, the book is very good. The events are presented in a chronological order, cutting back and forth between the actions and maneuvers of the Great (Britain, France, and Germany) and Minor Powers (primarily Belgium) in different parts of the continent. One very import item making this book so informative is the use of maps. Parkenham has included enough maps to place all the actions. Frequently, histories need a period atlas in hand for reference. This one doesn't.

"Scramble" is about politicians, soldiers, merchants, missionaries, and explorers. Readers interested in the personalities (King Leopold of Begium, Gladstone, Livingston, Ali Pasha, etc.) who shaped the events in the European conquest of Africa and the early Imperialist era will get the most from the book. I personally found King Leopold to be like a spider in the web as he plotted to found the Belgian Congo. In general, Britains and Anglo-Saxons come out rather well in this history and Europeans and Middle Easterners less well.

If I can find fault in "Scramble" its because it is too Anglo-centric. The British historical contribution to the period and events is very detailed. The French less so. The Portogeuse, Spanish, and Italian is almost absent or incidental. For example, British Imperial expeditions are described right down to the participating units (Guards Grenadiers, etc.); while French expeditionary missions described confuse Colonial Marines with Legion units.

Even though this is a military and diplomatic history, the economic aspect of the story is missing. The search for gold I can understand. Buried in the narrative is the importance of the African export of Palm Oil. However, I don't understand the price of or use of the ivory they (Europeans and native Africans) were slaughtering elephants for and hauling out of Africa.

Parkenham's narrative is excellent and highly readable. This book is recommend more as a peek into the personalities of the movers and shakers of Victorian times then as a history of African development.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Brilliant, 7. Oktober 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Scramble for Africa... (Taschenbuch)
I found this to be a fascinating and readable account of how European countries descended upon the African continent at the same time and proceeded colonize it. One major sin of most history books is that the authors are brilliant researchers, but dull, dull writers. Pakenham, however, writes with flare, and brings the personalities involved in this part of history to life. It's a thick volume, but it didn't seem thick to me once I began reading it.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A true masterpiece of narrative history, 19. September 2012
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Scramble for Africa (Taschenbuch)
Thomas Pakenham's `The Scramble for Africa' is a remarkably intelligent and brilliantly told history of European power's grab of incredible large land masses on the dark continent in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
The narrative starts with the discoveries of the great explorers, Livingstone, Speke and Stanley - the latter ending up in the retinue and services of the shrewd Belgium King Leopold II planning to carve out a colony for himself in the Congo. The scene then switches to South Africa where a British invasion force is defeated by a Zulu army in Rorke's Drift in 1879 and where another British force is dealt a deadly blow by the Boers at Majumba. Back in Europe Bismarck plays his game of coercion and appeasement well enough to make the French invade Tunisia ... and the British crush a revolution in Egypt in 1882 (and stay there).

The scenery of the narrative switches swiftly from the European powers and decision makers (sometimes reduced to mere onlookers by their local representatives) to the respective place in Africa. Any major country or region is covered and most intelligently knit into the storyline by Pakenham (the Mahdi revolt 1885 and Kitchener's crushing of it in 1898, France's and Brazza's struggle for the Congo with King Leopold II, Bismarck taking Cameroon, Angra Pequena and German East Africa, the splitting of East Africa between Prussia and Britain in 1886, the `big deal' of 1891 in which Wilhelm II trades in Zanzibar, Uganga and Equatoria against the island of Helgoland - with France getting the Sahara, the rush for gold into the Zambezia, the invasion of Transvaal by Rhodesian troops, the defeat of the Italian army in Egypt by King Menlik in 1896, the brutal oppression of the Boer revolt in 1902 and Kitchener's concentration camps for women and children, the Fashoda incident, the 1904 Herero rebellion in German South East Africa and the ensuing genocide as well as the 1905 genocide following the revolt in German East Africa and the unification of the South African colonies in 1909).

Many remarkable (not necessarily in a positive context) personalities - aside from the main actors - can be found to play a role in Pakenham's narrative (Dr. Carl Peters, Kabaka Mwanga, Emin Pasha, Cecil Rhodes, cpt. Frederick Lugard of the IBEAC, Edmond Morel etc.).

It is very rare to find a book with so ambitious a topic not ending up in an unreadable scholarly fashion. The very opposite one will find in this book here: a swift narrative but still all encompassing, covering a highly ambitious stretch of time (roughly 40 years) and land mass.

Enthralling, surprising and highly recommendable!
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4 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Good read-- informative and inclusive, 13. August 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Scramble for Africa... (Taschenbuch)
I just finished this 700-page history of colonialism in Africa. It was precisely what I was looking for-- a look at colonialism in Africa; who did it, where, why, and for how long. The only fault I might attribute to it is its emphasis on the white male players who made it all happen and not much on the Africans' perspective. Nevertheless, it was an extremely informative book that cut none of the imperialists slack. Germans, English, Boers, French, Italians, Arabs, and King Leopold the Belgian were all given equally (brutally) honest treatment. Good job, Mr. Parkenham!
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1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen AN EXCELLENT ROAD MAP, 28. September 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Scramble for Africa... (Taschenbuch)
The axiom, you can know a little about a lot or a lot about a little, illustrates the problem of generalized histories. This book takes a big bite and is thus limited in how much it tells about any given event or personality. Given this fact it still manages to deliver an extraordinary amount of information to the reader. At the same time, if you want a large road map, this book fulfills that mandate splendidly. One of the Amazon reviews apparently thought the book had a British bias. Perhaps, but then England was a major player in the scramble for Africa. To be fair, the book spends much time on Bismark (German), and King Leopold (Belgium) as well as various African rulers and explorers. The book is about remarkable personalities woven into a tapestry that depicts the acculturation process of two civilizations, at very different levels of achievement, bumping into each other. Africa has yet to recover from this epic collision. An excellent book.
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1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Difficult and tedious, 12. Oktober 1997
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Scramble for Africa... (Taschenbuch)
I found this book difficult and tedious to read from the typeface on -- even though I'm interested in the subject and have a B.A. in Pol. Sci. It might be helpful for Africa scholars, but not for the general lay reader. I'd recommend instead Shillington's HISTORY OF AFRICA.
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0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A compellingly well-written, deeply erudite book., 26. Juli 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Scramble for Africa... (Taschenbuch)
I knew little of African history before reading it. Having just finished it, I feel like I know so much more, and yet so much less - just what a good history is supposed to do. It is dense and long, but by the end the reader will have a clear sense of how the colonial history of Africa is so central to understanding its modern predicament.
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Scramble for Africa
Scramble for Africa von Thomas Pakenham (Taschenbuch - 26. November 1992)
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