King Leopold's Ghost

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

4.13 (44,359 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"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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Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 132 x 201 x 30mm | 318g
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0358212502
  • 9780358212508
  • 56,071

Review quote

"An enthralling story, full of fascinating characters, intense drama, high adventure, deceitful manipulations, courageous truth-telling, and splendid moral fervor . . . 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."
--Neal Ascherson, Los Angeles Times "A vivid, novelistic narrative that makes the reader acutely aware of the magnitude of the horror perpetrated by King Leopold and his minions."
--New York Times "King Leopold's Ghost is a remarkable achievement, hugely satisfying on many levels. It overwhelmed me in the way Heart of Darkness did when I first read it--and for precisely the same reasons: as a revelation of the horror that had been hidden in the Congo."
--Paul Theroux "Carefully researched and vigorously told, King Leopold's Ghost does what good history always does--expands the memory of the human race."
--The Houston Chronicle
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About Adam Hochschild

ADAM HOCHSCHILD is the best-selling author of seven books. King Leopold's Ghost was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, as was his recent To End All Wars. Bury the Chains was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the PEN Center USA Literary Award.
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Rating details

44,359 ratings
4.13 out of 5 stars
5 43% (19,129)
4 36% (16,164)
3 14% (6,154)
2 4% (1,705)
1 3% (1,207)
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