King Leopold's Ghost

Ranked #1 in African History, Ranked #8 in Commodities Tradingsee more rankings.

In the 1880s, 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... more

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of King Leopold's Ghost from the world's leading experts.

Steve Crawshaw Large parts of the Belgian establishment loathe this book. It tells, as its sub-title says, ‘a story of greed, terror and heroism’. It lays bare the absolute fiction that King Leopold’s fief in the Congo was based on some philanthropic urge – a line that Leopold managed to peddle with extraordinary success at the time. I don’t know if what Leopold did would be called ‘genocide’ today or not. But millions died under his rule, often in horrific circumstances, invisible to the rest of the world. Modern communications didn’t exist. (Source)

Suzannah Lipscomb This is an incredibly powerful, horrifying, and utterly brilliant study of Belgian colonialism of the Congo and the brutality and genocide that followed in its wake. (Source)

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