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King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Adam Hochschild
4.2 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (55 Kundenrezensionen)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Amazon.de

Years ago, Adam Hochschild came across a reference to the "five to eight million lives" destroyed in the colonial exploitation of the Congo. Startled, he realised that this had been "one of the major killing grounds of modern times. Why were these deaths not mentioned in the standard litany of our century's horrors?" His corrective history makes sobering and gripping reading. In King Leopold of Belgium, who decided to buy himself an empire to compensate for his country's smallness, he portrays a villain of Shakespearian dimensions. Aided by Stanley (of "Mr Livingstone I Presume" fame) the king appropriated a section of central Africa the size of Western Europe as his personal territory. The appalling brutality that ensued, as Europeans plundered the country for rubber and ivory, is vividly captured by Hochschild. He manages to leaven the horror with touches of grotesque humour--for instance, when tricking tribal chiefs into signing away their land for bales of cloth, Stanley would, to impress his dupes, secrete a battery in his pocket with the wires in his palm, so that on shaking hands the chief "was greatly surprised to find his white brother so strong that he nearly knocked him off his feet". Hochschild has something of Simon Schama's gift for populist history; and among other things he provides astonishing background to Joseph Conrad's Congo-set masterpiece, Heart of Darkness. --Adam Roberts

Amazon.co.uk

Years ago, Adam Hochschild came across a reference to the "five to eight million lives" destroyed in the colonial exploitation of the Congo. Startled, he realised that this had been "one of the major killing grounds of modern times. Why were these deaths not mentioned in the standard litany of our century's horrors?" His corrective history makes sobering and gripping reading. In King Leopold of Belgium, who decided to buy himself an empire to compensate for his country's smallness, he portrays a villain of Shakespearian dimensions. Aided by Stanley (of "Mr Livingstone I Presume" fame) the king appropriated a section of central Africa the size of Western Europe as his personal territory. The appalling brutality that ensued, as Europeans plundered the country for rubber and ivory, is vividly captured by Hochschild. He manages to leaven the horror with touches of grotesque humour--for instance, when tricking tribal chiefs into signing away their land for bales of cloth, Stanley would, to impress his dupes, secrete a battery in his pocket with the wires in his palm, so that on shaking hands the chief "was greatly surprised to find his white brother so strong that he nearly knocked him off his feet". Hochschild has something of Simon Schama's gift for populist history; and among other things he provides astonishing background to Joseph Conrad's Congo-set masterpiece, Heart of Darkness. --Adam Roberts

Produktinformation

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1829 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 400 Seiten
  • Verlag: Pan; Auflage: Unabridged (13. Mai 2011)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B0050NJMKG
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.2 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (55 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #107.111 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen A disappointing treatment of an epic theme 23. November 1999
Format:Taschenbuch
Leopold II's acquisition and ruthless exploitation of the Congo as a personal fief was an undertaking that was simultaneously epic and squalid. Untold hundreds of thousands of Africans - perhaps even millions, the statistics are uncertain - died under conditions of the most appalling suffering to satisfy this egomaniac's greed. Worse still, the whole callous process, which descended at times into orgiastic sadism, was aided and abetted by a range of administrators, business interests and even missionaries. Leopold dominates the narrative, a malign, hypocritical and wealth-obsessed spider at the centre of a vast web of his own making, busy until the last in creating schemes of breath-taking ambition and of true, unadulterated evil, never visiting the lands he made a hell, never glimpsing the wretches whose lives he ruined. Villains outnumber the heroes in the story by a substantial margin, and the efforts of the magnificent trio of E.D. Morel, Roger Casement and the shipping magnate John Holt to expose the scandal and end the abuses were rewarded with only qualified success. This book covers the basic facts of the story, often in a somewhat sketchy manner, and one longs repeatedly for more detail and for imposition of a firmer chronological sequence on the events described. The writing lacks a real sense and feel for Africa, its landscapes and its peoples, and indeed Thomas Packenham's treatment of the same topic in his "The Scramble for Africa", though more summary, is considerably more convincing and rewarding. An interesting footnote is that when Irish forces went to the Congo in 1960 as part of the UN response to the secession of Katanga, they did so as "The Casement Brigade" and the airbase near Dublin they flew out from has been known thereafter as the "Casement Airfield". One feels that the old champion of Congolese rights and of Irish independence would have approved fully.
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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Colonialism Condemned 1. Juli 2000
Von RuthAlice
Format:Taschenbuch
Adam Hochschild has written a riveting, meticulously footnoted history of the Belgian Congo and the evil perpetrated by the colonial power on the people who lived there.
While I appreciate the particular nature of King Leopold's colony (it was owned by the individual King Leopold,not by the country of Belgium) This certainly made its rule more arbitrary and less likely to be reined in by common sense and general humanity.
However, the book failed to make its case that the system itself created the environment where atrocity was not only possible, but likely. He tried, but reading through the reviews here, it's clear he didn't communicate that well enough.
As an antidote to the "Bad Belgian" impression some readers may get despite Hochschild's effort to show it was the system of colonialism itself that made it possible. The atrocities didn't occur simply because Leopold was evil (no matter how evil he was) but because the system itself by putting one people over another, creates the necessary structure for mass murder, slavery and genocide.
Another reviewer mentioned Exterminate All the Brutes. If you are interested in this history, you should read that as well. It's a small gem of a book that shows that the dehumanization of colonialism was widespread and not just practiced by the Belgians.
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8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen One doesn't know whether to laugh or cry. 25. Mai 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Taschenbuch
One doesn't know whether to laugh or cry--both when reading the book itself and when reading some of the reviews posted here.
On the one hand it's good to see that Hochschild's excellent work of popular history has generated some justifiable outrage. On the other hand it's sad that so many had learned so little about these atrocities before encountering the book--a sad commentary on America's politically correct schools. (Be advised that by "politically correct" I mean "slanted in favor of conservatism, racism, etc.")
Occasional signs of how much racism and moral relativism remains are found in some of the angrier negative reviews above (another indication of the great value of Hochschild's work). Apparently unable to refute Hochschild's main thesis, one reviewer carps about details such as the photographs, then launches into an argument that is every bit as morally bankrupt as the old saw about how Hitler was good because he made the trains run on time:
"Does the author has realized that leprosy, sleeping disease, endemic wars between tribes have created more havoc in Congo before and during the time that king Leopold was sending Stanley to follow the Congo valley?"
Of course, there were wars in Germany before the rise of the Third Reich, and in Russia before the October Revolution. Are we therefore to excuse Hitler and Stalin? This book's negative reviews have deepened my own experience of the book by reminding me that the sources of the evils Hochschild describes are still lurking among us.
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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Unrealized potential 3. Oktober 1998
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This could have been a very good book -- an historical exploration of a little-known era and series of events in Africa. The author certainly did enough research to craft such a tale, and in spots the narrative is quite interesting. However, the author simply cannot stop trying to wedge this story into a politically correct fable without any real justification for doing so and keeps dragging in irrelevant things he admires -- Amnesty International, pacificists in WWI, etc. Well, it doesn't work and all this does is gradually undercut the author's credibility and make the reader suspicious of the other parts...Too bad, it could have been much better.
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Die neuesten Kundenrezensionen
5.0 von 5 Sternen Highly important book on Congo
Hochschild's undertaking must have been quite an endeavour, but it was worth it. Meticulous research, looking at details and individual human stories as much as the bigger picture. Lesen Sie weiter...
Vor 11 Tagen von 1234567890 veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen Spannende Aufbereitung eines ernsten Themas
Ein tolles Buch! Ich lese in meiner Freizeit meistens Romane, da ich für mein Studium schon genug wissenschaftliche Bücher lesen muss. Lesen Sie weiter...
Vor 3 Monaten von gsinschn89 veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen A planted evil
The Congo basin is the most cruelly raped part of Africa. It and its immediate northern and southern neighbors were the principal source of slaves for the American plantations. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 24. Mai 2005 von Philip
4.0 von 5 Sternen Countering Conservative Political Correctness
What a book! Although they would never admit it, this book surely shoots down the right's long held belief that evil oppression took place before the creation of Marxist... Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 19. September 2000 veröffentlicht
1.0 von 5 Sternen Not a Convincing Case
If you like your history books to be spell-binding and riveting and read like great fiction (as apparently do a number of those who have previously submitted reviews) you may well... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 13. Juli 2000 von Max D. Brown
3.0 von 5 Sternen A Great Eye-Opener
Hochschild really opened my eyes about the tragedy in the Belgian Congo, and for that I'm very thankful I was introduced to(well, made to read actually) :) this book. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 30. Juni 2000 von "sepherine"
5.0 von 5 Sternen All Conservatives Should Read this Book...
The stories of genocide here are truly shocking.
This is a chapter of history most people don't know, and illustrates just how much Western leaders are responsible for trouble... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 26. Juni 2000 von J. Kowalski
4.0 von 5 Sternen Truth, again, is Stranger than Fiction
One of my favorite aspects of good historical nonfiction is that it conveys a sense of detail, depth, and texture that is sometimes absent from the most perceptive fiction. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 25. Juni 2000 von "mcgee22"
4.0 von 5 Sternen Horrifying history of colonial cruelty!
Lets face it! Belgium is not a country that readily springs tomind when one thinks of perpetrators of mass murder &genocide. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 23. Juni 2000 von Bob Jarvis
1.0 von 5 Sternen A piece of trash
I really looked forward to reading this book, hoping to gain additional insight into a fascinating period of history. Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 19. Juni 2000 veröffentlicht
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