In This Review

The Race To Fashoda
The Race To Fashoda
By David Levering Lewis
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1987, 304 pp.

For the first time, a major history of the European colonial movement in Africa tells the story of the African resistance while also giving a parallel account of the European side. At the hands of an extraordinarily versatile American historian, happily blessed with a lively prose style, both receive their due: Africa's underarmed legions in the Congo and Sudan display determination and tactical intelligence while facing certain doom in the face of European firepower and sometimes brilliant buccaneer leaders. Most impressive, however, is Menelik, the Ethiopian emperor who outfoxed all comers, European and African, eventually pulverizing Italy's armies with French arms and Russian artillery instructors.