Several factors neutralize this battery of information about the history, the tribal composition and some leading communities of East Africa: the format is inhospitable, the style is intractable, the detail is interminable. More significant perhaps, the viewpoint is that of an outsider, which makes the history primarily an account of conquest by Arabs and Europeans and conflict between British and Germans; the Africans are seen as acted upon. (For a telling contrast, see MacGregor-Hastic's Africa, Background for Today.) There is throughout a diffusion of interest; in the comprehensive coverage of all the tribes, the characteristics of the foremost fail to register. Moreover, the book is very inadequately mapped for all its profusion of place names. Certainly there are more past particulars here than in other juveniles (although less about present conditions); the question is who will retrieve them, and for what purpose.