“A fast-paced look at white personalities in Africa, a few well-knowns from the past and a...
“A fast-paced look at white personalities in Africa, a few well-knowns from the past and a few collected by the author in recent years . . . Denis Boyles knows the territory well.”—The New York Times Book Review In a series of ebullient and evocative portraits, journalist Denis Boyles chronicles the white men and women who journeyed to Africa in the twentieth century, seeking things they couldn’t find at home. Daredevil flyers and dedicated missionaries, intrepid explorers, and charming con men—they all turn up in African Lives. You’ll meet General Charles George “Chinese” Gordon, who, as governor of Equatoria in the 1870s, mapped the region, drove out slave traders, and made the area safe for travelers. There is gossip about Beryl Markham and Isak Dinesen, who were legendary rivals in literature and in love. There are also sketches of such colorful figures as Patrick Shaw, the 300-pound “Clint Eastwood” of Kenya, and George Pappas, a self-made millionaire pilot. Vivid, provocative, and insightful, African Lives is a testimony to the continent’s hold on the popular imagination. “Entertaining . . . jazzy . . . Boyles’ prose has a certain cheeky charm, and he spins some good yarns.”—The Washington Post