Arthur Donaldson Smith and the Exploration of Lake Rudolf

by Pascal James Imperato. vii + 96 pages, illustrated. The Medical Society of the State of New York, 420 Lakeville Road, P.O. Box 5404, Lake Success, New York 11042. 1987. $10.00, paper-bound

David F. Clyde School of Hygiene and Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21205

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Exploration of the great lakes of eastern Africa was, during the latter part of the last century, the popular equivalent of space travel today. Identification of the sources of the Nile held not only geographical but, more importantly, political significance in a period that saw the scramble by European powers to seize chunks of Africa, often under the guise of suppressing the slave trade to Arabia. In this paperbound series of five articles initially published in volume 87 of the New York State Journal of Medicine, Dr. Imperato (the editor of that journal) describes in impressive detail the circumstances that moved some highly individualistic Europeans and Americans to organize and lead expeditions from the countries ringing the Horn of Africa into the unmapped and climatically hostile regions approaching Lake Rudolf, now named Lake Turkana, in northern Kenya.

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