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Monday, November 1, 2021


I recently read King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild (1998). 

I first picked this book up thinking it was fiction. It was not. It was a superbly written and meticulously researched account of the exploitation of the African continent in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Specifically, AH weaves a compelling story of how King Leopold of Belgium managed to appropriate and rape the land and people of the Congo during this time frame. He managed to do it through lies, propaganda, chicanery, deceit, theft, terror, and slight of hand. 

Finally, brave humanitarians in the form of both missionaries and journalists were able to raise enough awareness to bring broad international rebuke for Leopold's pillaging.   

By the way, similar exploitation continues today, in various forms, at the hands of advanced governments and international corporations.

A sobering reminder of what humans will do to other humans in the interest of power and greed. Location on the planet, race, religion, political beliefs seem not to matter. Those with power will do almost anything, to anybody, in order to maintain that status.

Thanks for the rec, TM. 

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