King Leopold's Ghost
When US historian Adam Hochschild published his award winning account of the brutal plunder of the Congo it raised a furore in Belgium. The Congo – now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo – was Belgium’s only African colony, and from 1885 to 1908 it was ‘owned’ by King Leopold II, who ran it like a private business, looting its minerals, rubber and ivory. His police carried out cruel punishments on villages that failed to pay taxes or reach their rubber targets – rubber was the chief commodity extracted from Congo’s jungles at a time when the world was desperate for it.
Country of Origin: USA
Keywords: Africa, DRC, Zaire, slavery, corruption, Belgium, natural resources, racism, colonialism, poverty, injustice
Target Audience: 12-15 Years 16+ years Adult and Community Settings Junior Cycle Senior Cycle Transition Year Youth Groups
Curriculum Subjects: Civic Social and Political Education English History
Available Formats: Book
King Leopold’s Ghost on Google Books.
Adam Hochschild was born in New York in 1942. As a college student he spent a summer working on an anti-government newspaper in South Africa and as a civil rights worker in Mississippi in 1964. He later worked as a journalist and editor and is the author of six books, mostly about human rights. He has won numerous awards for his writing and now teaches journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism in the University of California.