“This is quite a horrific tale of abuse slavery and genocide which occurred in the Congo under King Leopold. Luckily among all the villains there were some heros who shoulted the alarm and doggedly kept up to stop this atrocity.
Sadly we don't talk about this anymore and we can thank Adam Hochschild for bringing it to light.”
“Great gruesome story that I had never heard of before! Amazing how history so brutal can just be swept under the rug like this. Hochschild goes into a massive amount of detail. It took me longer to read than I expected because I wanted to make sure I took it all in. I had no real knowledge of the Congo before and now I feel like I just want to know even more. Joseph Conrad's novel The Heart of Darkness is now on my TBR list.
Anyone even slightly interested in history would enjoy this engrossing read!”
“It feels a bit odd to say that I loved a book about greed, torture, and corruption. Definitely this was a difficult read in that it had me cringing at times, in sympathy for the victims and despair over man's inhumanity to man. I always enjoy discovering episodes in history about which I know nothing, and the race to colonize Africa is a huge knowledge gap for me. This book in particular deals with Belgium's King Leopold II, who essentially bought the Congo and turned it into his own private fiefdom, which he exploited in the cruelest fashion for his own personal gain. As with HItler, I can understand that there might be a few cruel individuals unconcerned with the suffering they inflict on their fellow man, but it never ceases to amaze me that they are able to get so many other individuals to willingly do their dirty work for them. Adam Hochschild is a wonderful author. He is thorough in his research but not to the point of feeling as if he has to squeeze in every tiny morsel of info discovered. The story flowed well and he gave quick reminders as to who characters were if we hadn't read about them in a while (helpful in the large cast of players). I put every Hochschild book that my library has, and I am even remotely interested in the content, onto my TBR. Why have I never read one of his before? This one comes with my highest recommendation.”Care B wrote this review Sunday, December 19, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“i don't know about the story but I know author I've met him one time”Shairy wrote this review Friday, November 19, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I read this book while living in Africa. It helps understanding what you see around you, plus understanding Europe and colonialism. An easy and agreeable reading. Should be coupled with "The Heart of Darkness"”Arthur N wrote this review Sunday, October 24, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is a period/geographic area of history that I know absolutely nothing about. (I know, I know, shame on me. Four years of undergraduate history and a Master's degree, and no African history...) My absolute ignorance of the Congo and Belgian colonization was somewhat tempered by the (extremely unfortunate) fact that colonization and exploitation are similar wherever you go. Leopold's motivations were not unique, but some of his methods and cruelty were. Overall, I thought the book was easy to read and wove together multiple threads into a single narrative.”Kristen wrote this review Friday, October 15, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“True story that reads like fiction. A piece of history that is not often spoken of and told in a very "readable" way.”Theresa K wrote this review Saturday, October 2, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Great book but absolutely horrifying to see what this man and his people did to a race of people that deserved the right to live in peace while receiving the wealth from their own country . This man killed and maimed both young and old for money that he stole from these same people he.terrorized. This book was amazing but literally made me feel ill. Be prepared for tough viewing of pictures that will hurt you when you see them.
Overall it was necessary to read so to know history and make sure that such a thing never happens again and if it is happenin, which I would wager it is, to put an end to it immediately and forever.”