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

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Produktbeschreibungen

Amazon.de

King Leopold of Belgium, writes historian Adam Hochschild in this grim history, did not much care for his native land or his subjects, all of which he dismissed as "small country, small people." Even so, he searched the globe to find a colony for Belgium, frantic that the scramble of other European powers for overseas dominions in Africa and Asia would leave nothing for himself or his people. When he eventually found a suitable location in what would become the Belgian Congo, later known as Zaire and now simply as Congo, Leopold set about establishing a rule of terror that would culminate in the deaths of 4 to 8 million indigenous people, "a death toll," Hochschild writes, "of Holocaust dimensions." Those who survived went to work mining ore or harvesting rubber, yielding a fortune for the Belgian king, who salted away billions of dollars in hidden bank accounts throughout the world. Hochschild's fine book of historical inquiry, which draws heavily on eyewitness accounts of the colonialists' savagery, brings this little-studied episode in European and African history into new light. --Gregory McNamee

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: 2531 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 400 Seiten
  • Verlag: Pan; Auflage: Main Market Ed. (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: Aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.2 von 5 Sternen 57 Kundenrezensionen
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #148.148 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Kundenrezensionen

Top-Kundenrezensionen

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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Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Vor 30 Jahren bin ich einmal an eienm nebeligen, regnerischen Tag durch die Wälder rechts der Meuse nördlich von Verdun gefahren und habe mich gefragt, warum dieser Krieg in Deutschland nahezu vergessen zu sein scheint. Kann es daran liegen, dass es kaum Bücher in deutscher Sprache gibt, die ohne zu verurteilen diesen Krieg aus verschiedenen Blickwinkeln beschreiben?

Adam Hochschilds Buch ist so ein Buch, das den grossen Krieg aus dem Blickwinkel einiger Protagonisten der englischen upper class, dem Blckwinkel des einfachen Soldaten an der Front und dem Blickwinkel einiger Pazifisten und Kriegsdienstverweigerer in der englischen Heimat beschreibt. Dabei wird ein sehr kritischer Blick auf die englische kavalerieverliebte Generaltät geworfen (Haig, French), die den Grabenkrieg hasst und die Realität des Krieges ignoriert. Auf der anderen Seite lernt der Leser englische Pazifisten kennen (Keir Hardie, die Pankhurst Familie ua), die viel Mut besassen und dem "Geheul" einer patriotischen Presse widerstanden.
Dieses Buch ist kein Propaganda Buch. Es beschreibt die Grausamkeit des Grossen Krieges vornehmlich aus englische Sicht.
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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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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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