Congo: The Miserable Expeditions and Dreadful Death of Lt. Emory Taunt, USN

Naval Institute Press
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Lauded for his ability to tell compelling, true adventure stories, award-winning author Andrew C.A. Jampoler has turned his attention this time to a young American naval officer on a mission up the Congo River in May 1885. Lt. Emory Taunt was ordered to explore as much of the river as possible and report on opportunities for Americans in the potentially rich African marketplace. A little more than five years later, Taunt, 39, was buried near the place he had first come ashore in Africa. His personal demons and the Congo’s lethal fevers had killed him. In 2011, to better understand what happened, Jampoler retraced Taunt’s expedition in an outboard motorboat. Striking photographs from the author’s trip are included to lend a visual dimension to the original journey.

Readers join Taunt in his exploration of some 1400 miles of river and follow him on two additional assignments. A commercial venture to collect elephant ivory in the river’s great basin and an appointment as the U.S. State Department’s first resident diplomat in Boma, capital of King Leopold II’s Congo Free State, are filled with promise. But instead of becoming rich and famous, he died alone, bankrupt, and disgraced. Jampoler’s account of what went so dreadfully wrong is both thrilling and tragic. He provides not only a fascinating look at Taunt’s brief and extraordinary life, but also a glimpse of the role the United States played in the birth of the Congo nation, and the increasingly awkward position Washington found itself as stories of atrocities against the natives began to leak out.
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About the author

In August and September 2011 Andrew Jampoler went down the Congo River from Kisangani to the Atlantic Ocean in an outboard motorboat. His trip was part of the research for this book.

Jampoler lives in the Lost Corner of Loudoun County, Virginia, with his wife, Susan, a professional geographer, and their two golden retrievers. He is an alumnus of Columbia College and the School of International and Public Affairs, both of Columbia University, in New York City, and of the Foreign Service Institute’s School of Language Study.

Earlier in life Jampoler spent a year in South Vietnam, commanded a land-based, maritime patrol aircraft squadron, and a naval air station during twenty-four years on active duty as an aviator in the U. S. Navy. Later he was a senior sales and marketing executive in the international aerospace industry. He has been writing history books and magazine articles for the past dozen years.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Naval Institute Press
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Published on
Jul 15, 2013
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781612512709
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / United States
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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