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Read King Leopold's Ghost ã PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free à 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 peopG agent who went on to lead the international crusade against Leopold Another hero of this tale the Irish patriot Roger Casement ended his life on a London gallows Two courageous black Americans George Washington Williams and William Sheppard risked much to bring evidence of the Congo atrocities to the outside world Sailing into the middle of the story was a young Congo River steamboat officer named Joseph Conrad And looming above them all the duplicitous billionaire King Leopold II With great power and compassion King Leopold's Ghost will brand the tragedy of the Congo too long forgotten onto the conscience of the We. ‘Exterminate all the brutes’ – KurtzA very readable summary of one of the first real international human rights campaigns a campaign focussed on that vast slab of central Africa once owned not by Belgium but personally by the Belgian King The Congo Free State was a handy microcosm of colonialism in its most extreme and polarised form political control subsumed into corporate control natural resources removed wholesale local peoples dispossessed of their lands their freedom their lives To ensure the speediest monetisation of the region's ivory and rubber about half its population – some ten million people – was worked to death or otherwise killed And things were no picnic for the other halfHochschild's readability though rests on a novelistic tendency to cast characters suarely as heroes or villains Even physical descriptions and reported speech are heavily editorialised Henry Morton Stanley ‘snorts’ or ‘explodes’ Leopold II ‘schemes’ while of photographs of the virtuous campaigner ED Morel we are told that his ‘dark eyes blazed with indignation’ This stuff weakens rather than strengthens the arguments and I could have done without it Similarly freuent references to Stalin or the Holocaust leave a reader with the vague idea that Leopold was some kind of genocidal ogre; in fact his interest was in profits not genocide and his attitude to the Congolese was not one of extermination but ‘merely’ one of complete unconcernPerhaps most unfortunate of all the reliance on written records naturally foregrounds the colonial administrators and Western campaigners and correspondingly – as Hochschild recognises in his afterword – ‘seems to diminish the centrality of the Congolese themselves’ This is not a problem one finds with David van Reybrouck's Congo The Epic History of a People where the treatment of the Free State is shorter but feels balanced Van Reybrouck incidentally regards Hochschild's account as ‘very black and white’ and refers ambiguously to its ‘talent for generating dismay’For all these problems though this is a book that succeeds brilliantly in its objective which was to raise awareness of a period that was not being much discussed It remains one of the few popular history books to have genuinely brought something out of the obscurity of academic journals and into widespread popular awareness and it's often eye opening in the details it uncovers about one of the most appalling chapters in colonial history The success is deserved – it's a very emotional and necessary corrective to what Hochschild identifies as the ‘deliberate forgetting’ which so many colonial powers have consciously or otherwise taken part in

Download ¸ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ¾ Adam 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 haunti. A few things First I have read widely about Mao's Cultural Revolution and Great Leap Forward 40 to 70 million dead Stalin's purges and programs of collectivization 20 million dead and Hitler's genocide 11 million dead I am largely unshockable However the avarice and deceit of King Leopold II of Belgium in the Congo 15 million dead has been something of a revelation I hereby enter his name in my Rogues Gallery roster It is important that we remember what he perpetrated for his own personal gain Adam Hochschild's book does an excellent job of registering these crimes in the collective memory The book has been justly praised Let me add my own Also it turns out the first great unmasker of Leopold was an American George Washington Williams He was a lawyer minister popular author and activist He wrote an open letter to Leopold that was published in the Times in 1890 and which might have saved millions of lives had he been listened to Williams was a man of considerable intellectual acumen and courage Largely because he was black however he was ignored I had always thought that that great whistleblower was Roger Casement And certainly Casement's key contribution is recounted here as is that of the great popularizer of the Congo cause ED Morel but Williams' audacious early warning was a surprise to me I hereby enter his name into my book of latter day Cassandras and suggest he be given greater emphasis in all relevant texts and courses

Adam Hochschild ¾ 5 Read

King Leopold's GhostNg 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 Chief among them is Edmund Morel a young British shippin. The best non fiction book I've ever read The hyphenated title on the book is a story of greed terror and heroism in colonial Africa and that sums it up very well Such horrific treatment including brutal maiming and killing of workers including children who refused to work for King Leopold's rubber plantations is a story untold for centuries and deserves this fine treatment by Adam Hochschild King Leopold of Belgium was an unrepentant monster