The titles applied to David Livingstone since his death are eclectic enough to seem dubious, and with good reason. In view of his own journals, saint is out of the question; even missionary is problematic when one considers his conversion record. But despite his fame as a scientist and explorer, titles he certainly earned, these were not the fields through which Livingstone left his most indelible mark on Africa.

Somehow, his impact on abolishing what he called "this awful slave-trade" continues to be overlooked as the centerpiece of his African mission.

Until now.

The Daring Heart of David Livingstone is Livingstone’s story told in full, from the beginning of his time in Africa to the legislation that saved millions after his death.

His contribution to abolition, and particularly the Christian faith that fueled his efforts, have been overlooked in the public record for too long. This is David Livingstone’s untold story.


The Nile Theories


  • "A spectacular, ground-breaking, well-researched, splendidly told, and thoroughly gripping story. It was high time for someone to bring the wildly adventurous life of this courageous Christian hero to this generation. That Milbrandt also proclaims Livingstone as a successor to Wilberforce in vanquishing the horrors of the global slave trade makes it all the sweeter."

    Eric Metaxas, New York Times best-selling author of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Marty r, Prophet, Spy and Miracles : What They Are, Why They Happ en, and How They Can Change Your Life

  • "Passionate, headstrong, and obsessive, but always visionary and full of faith, Livingstone strides out of these pages like the Ferdinand Magellan of the African interior. Milbrandt’s portrait is like an old masterpiece cleaned of its dust and grime—a robust challenge to our soft generation and a burning inspiration to all who know the link between the gospel, mission, justice, and freedom."

    Os Guinness, author of The Call

  • "Livingstone’s life reminds us how God can use ordinary people to accomplish the extraordinary. Milbrandt illuminates Livingstone’s astonishing story with great energy and clarity"

    Rich Stearns, President of World Vision US and author of The Hole in Our Gospel and Unfinished

  • "Reads like a thriller . . . enables the reader to share a little of the pain and the passion, the hopes and the hardships of David Livingstone’s phenomenal travels—and to obtain a glimpse into the faith which enabled him to endure and thereby to make a unique contribution to the abolition of the slave trade in East Africa."

    The Baroness Cox, House of Lords and CEO Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust

  • "A powerful view into the brutality of Africa’s slave history—and into the troubled explorer who exposed its tragedies to the world. Livingstone’s passion and drive make his story a moving read and cautionary tale for anyone who cares about today’s fight to end slavery."

    Gary A. Haugen, President and CEO, International Justice Mission

  • "A fast and fascinating read: once you start, you won’t want to put it down. Milbrandt is brilliant at painting a colorful picture of the legendary explorer everyone thinks they know but don’t—a man who draws on the toughness he acquired as a child laborer during the Industrial Age to help rid the tribes of Eastern Africa of slavery, advance the science of his day, and above all serve the biblical God whom he loved more than anything and anyone."

    Michael Guillen, PhD, former ABC News Science Editor, best-selling author, and movie producer

  • "Livingstone’s commitment to the abolition of slavery changed the course of Africa. Through his life, we learn much about ourselves and God."

    Ambassador Tony P. Hall, Executive Director of Alliance to End Hunger, former congressman

  • "Full of soul, this smart, thorough, engaging odyssey reveals the missionary purpose behind Livingstone’s quest to end the African slave trade. Jay Milbrandt expertly navigates both the exhilarating and the tragic aspects of this remarkable story. His book makes an important contribution to abolition history."

    Judge Kenneth W. Starr, President, Baylor University

  • "At a time when missionaries past and present are too often caricatured and disdained, it is refreshing to read this gripping study of David Livingstone. Apart from his official mission work, he was explorer, scientist, anthropologist, diplomat, and above all, a driving force in ending the East African slave trade. Not only invaluable but enthralling."

    Paul Marshall, Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, author of Persecuted

  • "Faith and perseverance do overcome evil in our world. Jay Milbrandt’s telling of Livingstone’s trying journey reminds us of God’s goodness and grace."

    Immaculee Ilibagiza, Rwandan genocide survivor and author of the New York Times bestseller Left to Tell

  • "Those of us who have dedicated our own lives to the pursuit of global justice stand on the shoulders of giants such as Livingstone, who ‘never stopped until he had come to the end and achieved his purpose.’ This incredible book will resonate and inspire activists, abolitionists, and explorers for years to come."

    Jason Russell, cofounder, Invisible Children

  • "It’s a rare moment when an author can tell an old story in way so new that you’ve forgotten you’ve ever heard it before. Jay has done just that. He’s a maestro."

    —Johnnie Moore, Senior Vice President, Liberty University, author of What Am I Supp osed to Do with My Life?

  • "David Livingstone was a great man, a great explorer, a great freedom fighter, and a spiritual man. Livingstone remains an example of exceptional courage and leadership for the modern world."

    Azarias Ruberwa, former Vice-President of DR Congo and board member, Mercy Ships

  • "The story of David Livingstone needed to be told, and Jay does not disappoint. He is bold and brilliant."

    Suzan Johnson Cook, 3rd US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom

  • "An adventure-packed biography of one man’s courage and persistence that finally broke the back of the slave trade and brought the influence of Christianity to the African continent. It’s an inspirational read that will encourage Christians as they advance the gospel and the Christian worldview even in these challenging times."

    Alan Terwilleger, President of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview

  • "Livingstone’s story is powerful—a triumph of humanity, faith, and dignity. This is a must-read for anyone with African interests. Government employees, NGO participants, long- or short-term volunteers such as Peace Corps Volunteers or faith-based participants or those who have traveled or are planning on traveling to this amazing continent will all find Milbrandt’s insights into Africa, through David Livingstone’s eyes and heart, enlightening and inspiring."

    Ron Tschetter, former Director, U.S. Peace Corps

  • "The sympathetic handling of this period stood out, exploring how a man who despised the slave trade so deeply could still end up traveling with, and sometimes admitting to liking, the traders he met. . . . an excellent job of explaining the importance of Livingstone’s work to the eventual ending of the slave trade."

    Alison Ritchie, Property Manager, David Livingstone Centre in Scotland

  • "Fascinating and very well written . . . the story of a determined and tenacious human being with frailties common to us all. I am most grateful for [Livingstone’s] relentless efforts and contributions towards the elimination of slavery . . . an inspiration for us to selflessly invest into the lives of our fellow beings!"

    Kadita “A.T.” Tshibaka, board member and former President and CEO, Opportunity International

  • "Impressively researched and compellingly written, Jay Milbrandt’s excellent biography of the legendary explorer David Livingstone is a book for everyone. Whether you enjoy adventure or history, or are seeking spiritual inspiration as well as insights into the epic struggle to end the slave trade, this is a must-read."

    Benedict Rogers, human rights advocate and journalist, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, author of On the Side of Angels

  • "It is hard not to compare David Livingstone with another Victorian-era opponent of slavery, William Wilberforce. I suspect each would be surprised to know that there are more slaves today in the world than when they lived. Hopefully, this book will inspire modern-day Wilberforces and Livingstones to take up the cause. But this is also a cautionary tale for those who want to change the world. Livingstone’s work often came at the expense of his family and those closest to him."

    Robert F. Cochran, Jr., Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law and Director, Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics at Pepperdine University School of Law

  • "Combines the adventure of Sir Ernest Shackleton with the passionate opposition to the slave trade of William Wilberforce. Jay Milbrandt’s telling of Livingstone’s story is compelling and challenging. The man behind Henry Stanley’s famous question is a hero for the ages and a life to be celebrated."

    Jay Barnes, President, Bethel University


is a professor at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is a Senior Fellow in Global Justice with the Nootbaar Institute at Pepperdine University School of Law where he formerly directed the Global Justice Program. He travels throughout the world as a human rights lawyer, manages global initiatives in Africa and Southeast Asia, and consults with organizations engaged in human rights and legal development efforts.


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