By Adam Hochschild

Within the Eighteen Eighties, because the eu powers have been carving up Africa, King Leopold II of Belgium seized for himself the immense and as a rule unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. engaging in a genocidal plundering of the Congo, he looted its rubber, brutalized its humans, and eventually slashed its inhabitants via ten million--all the whereas shrewdly cultivating his recognition as a good humanitarian. Heroic efforts to reveal those crimes ultimately ended in the 1st nice human rights circulate of the 20 th century, during which every person from Mark Twain to the Archbishop of Canterbury participated.

King Leopold's Ghost is the haunting account of a megalomaniac of large proportions, a guy as crafty, fascinating, and vicious as any of the nice Shakespearean villains. it's also the deeply relocating portrait of these who fought Leopold: a courageous handful of missionaries, tourists, and younger idealists who went to Africa for paintings or experience and without notice stumbled on themselves witnesses to a holocaust.

Adam Hochschild brings this principally untold tale alive with the wit and ability of a Barbara Tuchman. Like her, he is familiar with that historical past frequently offers a much richer solid of characters than any novelist may well invent. leader between them is Edmund Morel, a tender British delivery agent who went directly to lead the overseas campaign opposed to Leopold. one other hero of this story, the Irish patriot Roger Casement, ended his existence on a London gallows.

Two brave black americans, George Washington Williams and William Sheppard, risked a lot to deliver facts of the Congo atrocities to the skin global. crusing into the center of the tale was once a tender Congo River steamboat officer named Joseph Conrad. And looming above all of them, the duplicitous billionaire King Leopold II.

With nice energy and compassion, King Leopold's Ghost will model the tragedy of the Congo--too lengthy forgotten--onto the sense of right and wrong of the West.

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Additional info for King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa

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Cried] for her children; and will not be comforted till they come home. Send more, more. . They are ignorant of our climate, soil, fruit, and cattle. It may be that they are wicked too; some of them . . You must not listen to the words of those white persons who try to stop free people from coming over. . Let them come and sit down in our valleys, and on our hills, and near our rivers; and all the country will soon break forth into song. Sherbro country is full of meat, fish, bread, oil, and honey.

Confidence . . [that] the time has arrived when the descendants of Africa abroad shall begin to return to their own country. His mind relies on the promises of God. 16 Hence, Kizell’s misleading statement that the chiefs around the Sherbro Island area had approved the establishment of the proposed American colony on the island was accepted at face value by Mills and Burgess. As already noted, the statement was passed on to the officials of ACS in Washington, DC. Against this background, the ACS decided to send some eighty-five African Americans on the ship, Elizabeth.

28 Similar arguments used against the ACS and its leaders were employed against Russwurm. The criticisms levied against Russwurm were, however, harsher than the ones used against white colonizationists, because blacks feared that his pro-colonization position would not only undermine their strong opposition to the ACS, but would also broaden the base of support for that body. Against this background, Russwurm was portrayed as a traitor by blacks. They also maintained that his defection would boost the interests of ACS that had long planned to destroy the racial solidarity, consciousness, and unity the Freedom’s Journal was trying to promote among blacks.

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