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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
East Africa, 1960's - By Camera and Diary by Donald R Adams is the memoir of a teacher who served as an education officer in Tanganyika in the early years of the country’s independence, a wonderful blend of historical non-fiction, travel, and adventure. Camping, hunting, and life-changing events are captured in the narrative in language that is highly descriptive. The book introduces readers to the political and historical landscapes of the East African countries of Uganda, Kenya, and Tanganyika. In the preface, the author offers a glimpse of the historical and cultural atmosphere in the region: “During a two year period in the early 1960's, the three East African territories, Tanganyika, Uganda and Kenya, achieved independence from Great Britain. In the time period leading up to independence many expatriate civil servants, including teachers, were leaving work in East Africa and returning to their home countries.” It is against the backdrop of an emerging independence that the events in this book are narrated.
Donald R Adams’ memoir will have a strong appeal to both historians and fans of travel books. While the narrative gives readers powerful glimpses of East Africa in the years before and after independence, it equally provides relevant commentaries on the geography, the culture, and the political environment in the region. The narrative is filled with adventure and readers will enjoy the commentaries. East Africa, 1960's - By Camera and Diary is hugely informative, told by an expatriate who developed a fondness for East Africa and its people. The writing is beautiful and punctuated by colorful images. Adams unveils aspects and images of an East Africa that is still unknown to contemporary readers, a gem for tourists and historians and anyone who desires to learn more about this part of Africa. I enjoyed the way the author weaves aspects of the culture, including language, into the memoir.