King Leopold's Ghost
by A. Hochschild
by A. Hochschild
In the 1880s, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold II of Belgium seized for himself the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. Carrying out a genocidal plundering of the Congo, he looted its rubber, brutalized its people, and ultimately slashed its population by ten million--all the while shrewdly cultivating his reputation as a great humanitarian. Heroic efforts to expose these crimes eventually led to the first great human rights movement of the twentieth century, in which everyone from Mark Twain to the Archbishop of Canterbury participated. King Leopold's Ghost is the haunting account of a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions, a man as cunning, charming, and cruel as any of the great Shakespearean villains. It is also the deeply moving portrait of those who fought Leopold: a brave handful of missionaries, travelers, and young idealists who went to Africa for work or adventure and unexpectedly found themselves witnesses to a holocaust. Adam Hochschild brings this largely untold story alive with the wit and skill of a Barbara Tuchman. Like her, he knows that history often provides a far richer cast of characters than any novelist could invent.
excerpts from King Leopold's Ghost
excerpt from King Leopold's Ghost by A. Hochschild
An excerpt from the chapter "Meet Mr. Kurtz" in Adam Hochschild's book, which critiques the brutal subjugation of the Congo.
King Leopold's Ghost describes the Congo in the period just prior to the American Museum Expedition. In 1885, King Leopold II of Belgium took control of the vast Congo Basin and began a process of pacification and exploitation. By the time Leopold ceded the Congo to Belgium in 1908, he had amassed a huge personal fortune at the cost of millions of Congolese lives. Does not include chapter “Meet Mr. Kurt.”
King Leopold's Soliloquy
by Mark TwainThe importance of news photographs in influencing public opinion was underlined in Mark Twain’s denunciation, "King Leopold's Soliloquy", where the aging king complains that the incorruptible Kodak camera was the only witness he had encountered in his long experience that he could not bribe.
"An Answer to Mark Twain"
by Morels & Burrows
"'King Leopold's Ghost':
Genocide With Spin Control
The New York Times: Book Times
by Michiko Kakutani
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