King Leopold's Ghost Analysis

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Register to read the introduction… 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.

Early in the imperial colonial period slavery was the chief reason for exploiting central Africa. King Leopold of Belgium ruthlessly but brilliantly exploited much of
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By making a web of bilateral agreements at the Berlin conference in February 1885, he carved out the boundaries for this huge state. Once his ownership of the Congo was secure, the rubber boom erupted. Rubber sap was in great demand for tyres and other products, and the Congo was covered with such vines. Joint ventures ensued between Belgian, British and Dutch firms. The astronomical profits saved Leopold's colonial empire. An example given is the 700 percent profits of the Anglo-Belgian India Rubber and Exploration Company

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