Adam Hochschild's King Leopold's Ghost: An Analysis

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  • Topic: Congo Free State, Leopold II of Belgium, King Leopold's Ghost
  • Pages : 2 (591 words )
  • Download(s) : 47
  • Published : October 24, 2010
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Adam Hochschild's "King Leopold's Ghost" is a lost historical account starting in the late 19th century continuing into the 20th century of the enslavement of an entire country. The book tells the story of King Leopold and his selfish attempt to essentially make Belgium bigger starting with the Congo. This was all done under an elaborate "philanthropic" public relations curtain deceiving many countries along with the United States (the first to sign on in Leopold's claim of the Congo). There were many characters in the book ones that aided in the enslavement of the Congo and others that help bring light to the situation but the most important ones I thought were: King Leopold, a cold calculating, selfish leader, as a child he was crazy about geography and as an adult wasn't satisfied with his small kingdom of Belgium setting his sites on the Congo to expand. Hochschild compares Leopold to a director in a play he even says how brilliant he is in orchestrating the capture of the Congo. Another important character is King Leopold's, as Hochschild puts it, "Stagehand" Henry Morton Stanley. He was a surprisingly cruel person killing many natives of the Congo in his sophomore voyage through the interior of Africa (The first was to find Livingston). Leopold used Stanley to discuss treaties with African leaders granting Leopold control over the Congo. Some of the natives he talked to weren't even in the position to sign the treaties or they didn't know what they were signing. And probably the most influential person in the book, E.D. Morel. Morel, an employee of a Belgian company that handled shipments to the Congo, noticed that the shipments coming to and from the Congo seemed really suspicious.

He put two and two together and realized what was happening. Morel was essentially the spring board of as Hochschild describes "The first Human rights campaign of the 20th century." I believe Hochschild tries to show his readers a holocaust that was going on in the African...
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