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Spedizioni d'alpinismo in Africa

Spedizioni d’alpinismo in Africa, by Guido Monzino. Verona: Mondadori, 1966. 348 pages, 177 photographs (31 in color), 27 maps and sketches. In this massive book, size 9"×l2" , Signor Monzino covers in a brief text and with a large number of plates the results of his five Italian expeditions with the select group of guides: “Grandes Murailles” to the main mountain ranges of Africa. The book also contains geographical and mountaineering descriptions of other African ranges, offering names and heights of most peaks, their climbing history and a bibliography. The text, although in Italian, is not difficult to follow for anybody fairly familiar with the history of African mountains.

Writing a book about climbing in Africa is a tough proposition nowadays, for the works so far produced about Kilimanjaro, the Ruwenzori and Mount Kenya are exceedingly good, both in text and illustrations. This new African book suffers by comparison with its predecessors; it is chiefly a picture book, but its photographs are not well reproduced nor do they offer a fresh look at the mountains, already very well recorded by the cameras of Sella, Sir Douglas Busk, and Dolf Reist. The simple log style of the text is not satisfying; a recent book by Rennie Bere has shown us how even the well known story of the Mountains of the Moon can be retold in a new and interesting way.

However, the book contains good information on all the African ranges, its maps and many of its pictures are very descriptive and some of the areas pictured, such as the Tibesti, are quite unfamiliar to most readers. Complemented with other books, it can be a good introduction to the mountain world of Africa.

Evelio A. Echevarría