Dr. Livingston, I Presume?
I read a book about Dr. Livingstone once.
Bored me to tears.
The Daring Heart of David Livingstone by Jay Milbrandt was anything but boring.
David Livingstone was known as a missionary, explorer and anti-slavery advocate. As a missionary, he only had one convert during his lifetime. His entire life was a jumble of faith, missions, exploration, fame and failure. He spent more time in Africa than he ever did with his family. In fact he went years without seeing his children.
Prior to this book, my recall of his life was limited to his failures and the fact that he got lost in Africa. The whole, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" was the only thing I could quote about his life.
One thing that was largely lost on me was his passionate drive to end the slave trade in East Africa. This is where Jay Milbrandt does Dr. Livingstone justice. Milbrandt examines David Livingstone's life through the lens of his anti-slavery crusade. He looks at his failures and successes and how they impacted the ongoing slave trade. Quoting from Livingstone's journals and other papers, he shows his commitment to God, desire to serve Him and the many times he falls short. Yet through it all, you see Livingstone's continual focus on stopping injustice.
My view of Livingstone has changed quite a bit after reading this book. Shortly after his passing, the slave trade was ended in East Africa and it had everything to do with Dr. Livingstone. After reading the facts laid out by Jay Milbrandt, I can say unequivocally that David Livingstone changed the world!
A must read for history buffs, those who love missions and for anyone who desires to see an end to the modern day slave trade.
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