||Perhaps no historical figure has come to embody 19th-century European colonialism better than explorer Henry Morton Stanley, who made a name for himself with his long, dangerous expeditions into the heart of Africa--his most famous being his search for the "lost" Scottish missionary Doctor David Livingstone. His exploits, including his brutal treatment of the natives, made him a grand figure in Victorian society, though in subsequent years he has been pilloried as a racist brute. Tim Jeal, in his fascinating biography of Stanley, shows that neither view is precisely true: Stanley frequently exaggerated his adventures, particularly his clashes with the native Africans, to appeal to his audiences at home. Indeed, Jeal paints a remarkable portrait of a man--the poor bastard child of a teenage Welsh woman--who was constantly changing his identity, his story, and even his name in order to rise above the shame of his childhood. Not only does STANLEY: THE IMPOSSIBLE LIFE OF AFRICA'S GREATEST EXPLORER set the historical record straight, it also delves deeply into the psychology of a wonderfully dramatic figure.