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

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Sep 3, 1999 - History - 400 pages
 "An enthralling story . . . A work of history that reads like a novel." — Christian Science Monitor
“As Hochschild’s brilliant book demonstrates, the great Congo scandal prefigured our own times . . . This book must be read and reread.” — Los Angeles Times Book Review

 
In the late nineteenth century, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold II of Belgium carried out a brutal plundering of the territory surrounding the Congo River. Ultimately slashing the area’s population by ten million, he still managed to shrewdly cultivate his reputation as a great humanitarian. A tale far richer than any novelist could invent, King Leopold’s Ghost is the horrifying account of a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions. It is also the deeply moving portrait of those who defied Leopold: African rebel leaders who fought against hopeless odds and a brave handful of missionaries, travelers, and young idealists who went to Africa for work or adventure but unexpectedly found themselves witnesses to a holocaust and participants in the twentieth century’s first great human rights movement.

A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
A New York Times Notable Book
 

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User Review  - EricCostello - LibraryThing

Sharp and pungent account of the colonization and exploitation of the Belgian Congo by King Leopold II, who to say the least comes across as a conniving hypocrite in this account. Little wonder it isn ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - EmreSevinc - LibraryThing

Exterminate all the brutes! ... said no colonialised victim I guess. And even if some of them did, could we accuse them of savagery? In case of Congolese, I think we couldn't do that easily I guess ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
The Traders Are KidnappingOur People
6
Walking into Fire
19
A King at Bay
183
Back Matter
309
Back Flap
377
Back Cover
378
Spine
379
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

ADAM HOCHSCHILD is the author of ten books. King Leopold’s Ghost was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, as was To End All Wars. His Bury the Chains was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and PEN USA Literary Award. He lives in Berkeley, California.

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