Alexander Maitland

Blood, Gold & Ivory

The Fortunes of Africa: A 5,000-Year History of Wealth, Greed and Endeavour


Simon & Schuster 745pp £25 order from our bookshop

‘Out of Africa always something new,’ wrote Pliny the Elder in Historia Naturalis. This wide-ranging survey, The Fortunes of Africa, spanning 5,000 years, offers ample proof of Pliny’s observation. Although much of the information contained in Martin Meredith’s vast and vivid panorama will be familiar to readers, such a wide-angle viewpoint gives his ambitious continental history a fresh and important basis for comparison and reappraisal. Elegantly written, purposeful and extremely readable, his book is a genuinely valuable compendium, for non-specialists in particular.

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