The Man-Eaters of Tsavo

The Man-Eaters of Tsavo by J.H. Patterson

A unique glimpse into a bygone era.  Reading how an Englishman viewed the world and his place in it was more engrossing than reading passages in a textbook of the late 1890s.  J.H. Patterson was sent to Tsavo to manage the railroad construction and had to deal with lions that were attacking camps and workers.  Thinking nothing of hunting the wildlife in Africa, Patterson took it upon himself to hunt the lions to save the progress of the railroad.

The book is different than the movie “Ghost in the Darkness” and provides an insight into how the world was colonized by the British.  Something would be shocking to people today, but realizing the world was different in the 1890s puts the stories into perspective. I recommend this book, about 150 pages, for not only a true view of historical times, and how the mindset of “civilized” people was different.

After seeing the lion pelts mounted in The Field Museum of Chicago this book was just too hard to not read.  The book is not a full autobiography, but is a mini-autobiography of J.H. Patterson’s time in Africa.  Overall, I would recommend this as a book to read if you are looking for a short read and you enjoy historical narratives or autobiographies.

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