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@Download Epub ⚣ King Leopold's Ghost Õ In The S, 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 Chief Among Them Is Edmund Morel, A Young British Shipping 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 West A stunning and fearsome book, bristling with focused rage at one of the great ignored evils of the 19th century This is not merely a catalog of horror, but also a history of the precursor to the modern human rights movement, revealing the sacrifices and valiant efforts of those who refused to let the atrocities continue.Highly recommended for those who want to see humanity at its most evil and also at its highest peak. 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, E.D 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. The Congo in Leopold s mind was not the one of starving porters, raped hostages, emaciated rubber slaves, and severed hands It was the empire of his dreams, with gigantic trees, exotic animals, and inhabitants grateful for his wise rule Instead of going there, Leopold brought the Congo that Congo, the theatrical production of his imagination to himself King Leopold IIBelgium was simply not big enough for the future kingWhen he thought about the throne that would be his, he was openly exasperated Petit pays, petits gens small country, small people , he once said of BelgiumHe watched as countries like Holland, Great Britain, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Germany were colonizing Africa and other exotic isles and becoming rich off the plunder In the 1880s, he saw his chance and claimed the lands of the Congo He did this without any kind of referandum from his people He knew what was best for BelgiumMost Belgians had paid little attention to their king s flurry of African diplomacy, but once it was over they began to realize, with surprise, that his new colony was bigger than England, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy combined It was one thirteenth of the African continent,than seventy six times the size of Belgium itself They had no idea the level of atrocities that would be perpetrated in the name of Belgium I ve always thought of Leopold II as a 2nd tier genocidal maniac I d always reserved the 1st tier for Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, but after reading this book and hearing the estimated number 10 million associated with the deaths in the Congo, I have officially moved Leopold II to the 1st tier genocidal maniac So why don t we knowabout Leopold II Why don t we see him as the genocidal maniac that we associate with the names Hitler and Stalin Could it be because he was killing black people Another factor is the way Leopold worked tirelessly to convince people he was a great humanitarian He found people who would help support him in this endeavor and paid them to write reports that were favorable to his reputation in Africa He worked equally tirelessly to squash those who came back from the Congo with the lists of atrocities they had witnessed while in Africa The biggest thorn in Leopold s voluminous backside turned out to be a British shipping clerk named Edmund Morel, who noticed the amount of goods coming from the Congo that were being traded or sold at prices that would not support a living wage in the Congo The math did not add up The only way that Leopold could be selling goods this cheaply was if they were being acquired through slave labor Morel went on to found a paper that continued to expose Leopold s criminal activities in the Congo Morel hammered away at him for the rest of his life Additionally, Roger Casement was an Irish man who risked life and limb to obtain evidence that directly refuted the rosy picture that Leopold was selling Europe There were also two American black men, George Washington Williams and William Sheppard, who did everything they could to expose Leopold s monstrosities to the world There were many other people who tried their best to stop what was happening, unchecked, in the Congo.The problem was that Europe and the United States wanted to believe Leopold The most famous book of celebrated author Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness was set in the real Leopold s Congo The famous character of Kurtz was based on a man Conrad met in the Congo Should I chase butterflies today or should I lob off a few heads One prototype for Conrad s Mr Kurtz L on Rom This swashbuckling officer was known for displaying a row of severed African heads around his garden He also wrote a book on African customs, painted portraits and landscapes, and collected butterflies L on Rom was a civilized, well educated man So how does decorating your garden with severed African heads equate with butterfly collecting and painting portraits and landscapes Leopold flooded the Congo with the right sort of men Mercenaries capable of chopping off hands, raping uncooperating women, murdering men, women, and children, and lashing men who didn t bring enough rubber back from the jungle withthe chicotte a whip of raw, sun dried hippopotamus hide, cut into a long sharp edged corkscrew strip The strip this would cut off a man s back, buttock, and legs would leave deep, permanent scars if the man was lucky, or in many cases unlucky, enough to live shudder White men felt free of all law in the Congo We have liberty, independence, and life with wide horizons Here you are free and not a mere slave of society Here one is everything So to live as free as one would like, one must enslave others These men had harems, money, and status, something they could never achieve working as clerks or plumbers in Europe In the Congo, they were warlords They killed so many Congolese that they feared not having enough slaves to maintain the plundering of the CongoWe run the risk of someday seeing our native population collapse and disappear, fretfully declared the permanent committee of the National Colonial Congress of Belgium that year So that we will find ourselves confronted with a kind of desertIt reminds me of hunters who hunted species to extinction and then bemoaned the fact that they couldn t hunt those animals any At no point did they think to themselves, maybe we are killing these animals faster than they can reproduce So why cut off the hands It seems counterproductive when you need these men to work Every bullet had to be accounted for with Leopold s mercenaries, so if a man used a bullet to kill game, he had to have an African hand to account for that bullet Every African hand was then turned in for a reward It is too sick to comprehend.Every country in Africa has tales of horror and outrage at the hands of European colonizers I do believe that what happened in the Congo was by far the worst atrocities on a native population in Africa The sad part of it is that most of us don t know anything about it I knew some, but I didn t know enough The cake that was Africa was cut up into portions and served to the white European countries as casually as if they were discussing the fates of Africans at a garden party with their children playing at their feet and their wives bringing them slices of the Congo, Nigeria, Kenya, Algeria, South Africa, and Senegal with which they could gorge themselves Adam Hochschild had a difficult time getting this book published It was as if the ghost of Leopold was still haunting and suppressing the truth This is a brilliant and important book that exposes the truth of the Congo and the complicity which every civilized country played in allowing such atrocities to occur If you wish to seeof my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at The book was written 20 years ago, and yet, it is so eye opening The theme has not been covered enough My idea of atrocities committed in the Congo in the second half of the 19th century werethan basic and narrowed to Joseph Conrad s Heart of Darkness, which I read and now should re read but didn t take too much interest in Conrad s time in the Congo, which was a mistake Author who undertakes a most difficult task to write about crimes against humanities term used for the first time by one of the 19th century journalist with regard to the Congo pays respect to all the victims of one s madness, greed, cruelty, indifference or hatred And I read this book, or rather listened to it, with precise the same intention There are several characters central to the unravelling the crimes that must be mentioned William Sheppard, George Williams, E.D Morel and Roger Casement They were the first to report openly on the cruelty towards the indigenous tribes and campaign against it Ordinary people and yet extraordinary in those days to speak and write openly of what they witnessed I can do nothingthan pay respect to the millions of victims who happened to live in the area rich in resources exploited to the full by white men This book is both overwhelming and depressing, however, it is one that should be read along with all the others that cover any crime against human beings.PS Writing these few sentences was not easy for me as I found this book too upsetting and painful to comment on.Thank you to my GR Friends who drew my attention to this book.