King Leopold’s Ghost was authored by Adam Hochschild in 1998. It is the alarming tale of one man’s desire to acquire a colony and the immense devastation caused due to his misrule. Seeming a philanthropist and one of great humanitarian effort, King Leopold managed to overtake the Congo and decrease its population by ten million in a very short period of time. Finally, some men, such as E. D. Morel, Roger Casement, George Washington Williams, and William Sheppard stood up to reveal the atrocities that were being committed in Africa and consequently started one of the first civil rights movements in history.
“This is the story of that movement, of the savage crime that was its target, of the long period of exploration and conquest that preceded it, and of the way the world has forgotten one of the great mass killings in recent history (pg 2).” So starts the point of this entire work. Hochschild’s mission is to present us with the slaughter and mayhem which occurred in the Congo and to help us to understand the evils that can emerge when someone uses his or her power to oppress and kill. Hochschild starts his story by introducing us to Henry Morton Stanley, the man employed by Leopold to explore and prepare the Congo for its future uses. By telling us of Stanley, the author tells the reader of the years of exploration that came before the Congo’s capture, hereby proving a portion of his thesis. He also wrote about the inhuman manner in which Beligum forced the Congo’s inhabitants to extract rubber from the areas trees. Many deaths occurred from Belgium’s interest in this valuable raw material: “When a village or district failed to supply its quota of rubber or fought back against the regime, Force Publique soldiers or rubber company ‘sentries’ often killed everyone they could find (pg 226).” Hochschild again proves a segment of his thesis, “the savage crime that was its target.” However, the author also tells of the great humanitarian effort that occurs in light of this terror; of several men’s desire to bring Leopold’s appalling conquest of the Congo to the forefront.
Why Does Zach Like Those So Much? Zach Dotsey English 101 Section 30 12 December, 1996 Third and Final Draft When many people hear about the X-Men, they think of a silly kid s comic book, but that is not so. X-Men, actually most comic books in general, are a unique blend of two classic art forms; drawings, sometimes even paintings, and storytelling. A comic artist must be able to convey the right ...
He writes the following of their endeavors: “The movement’s other great achievement is this. Among its supporters, it kept alive a tradition, a way of seeing the world, a human capacity for outrage at pain inflicted on another human being, no matter whether that pain is inflicted on someone of another color, in another country, at another end of the earth (pg 305).” Again, his thesis claiming the reader will learn of this civil rights movement is true. Lastly, how was the information of these horrific suppressed from public knowledge for so long? Proving the last statement in his thesis, Hochschild tells us how: it was “the strenuous efforts of Leopold and his admirers, then and now, to burn it, ignore it, to distort it with mythologizing (pg 305).” The vast amount of information the author presents us with would be sufficient to come to a conclusion about this dreadful story of the Congo; however, photographs provided in the book by Hochschild helped one to further supplemented ones understanding of the terrible acts that occurred in Africa during Leopold’s ghastly reign. Furthermore, the author provided a very adequate and detailed argument which showed the terrors that can, and most likely will, occur from colonization and imperialism.
This book was extremely enlightening. Though I consider myself one very interested in history, I had never heard of Leopold’s conquest of the area known as the Congo. I am familiar with the Holocaust, Japan’s terrible treatment of China, and the British occupation of Australian and acts committed against its natives, but I had not attained any information of this. Why? It seems that this story is just as valuable as those, yet the population virtually has no knowledge of it. I insisted that my father, one who is very learned in history, should also read this book. Like me, he had had almost no previous knowledge of this subject.
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This is truly a shame. In my opinion, this book was a very valuable read and I will most likely venture through its chapters once again to relive the horrors that occurred along the Congo in Africa due to one madman’s greed. I also sincerely hope others will explore its pages to view a past that isn’t quite as far away as we might have hoped.