Literature Study GuidesKing Leopolds Ghost A Story Of Greed Terror And Heroism In Colonial Africa

King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa | Study Guide

Adam Hochschild

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Course Hero. "King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa Study Guide." Course Hero. 6 Dec. 2019. Web. 3 Dec. 2020. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/King-Leopolds-Ghost-A-Story-of-Greed-Terror-and-Heroism-in-Colonial-Africa/>.

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Course Hero. (2019, December 6). King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved December 3, 2020, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/King-Leopolds-Ghost-A-Story-of-Greed-Terror-and-Heroism-in-Colonial-Africa/

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Course Hero. "King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa Study Guide." December 6, 2019. Accessed December 3, 2020. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/King-Leopolds-Ghost-A-Story-of-Greed-Terror-and-Heroism-in-Colonial-Africa/.

Footnote

Course Hero, "King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa Study Guide," December 6, 2019, accessed December 3, 2020, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/King-Leopolds-Ghost-A-Story-of-Greed-Terror-and-Heroism-in-Colonial-Africa/.

Overview

Author

Adam Hochschild

Year Published

1998

Type

Nonfiction

Genre

History

At a Glance

King Leopold's Ghost reveals hidden details of the evils committed in the Congo during the reign of King Leopold II of Belgium (1835–1909; reigned 1865–1909). Under the guise of a philanthropist who wanted to Christianize and "civilize" Africa, Leopold II used lies and deception to steal land in the Congo River basin from Congolese chiefs and then convinced the United States and other Western powers to recognize his ownership. Then he used brutal methods to control the Congolese tribes, including forced labor and murder, in an effort to benefit Belgium by exploiting the Congo for its ivory and, later, rubber. By the mid-1890s, British shipping clerk Edmund Dene Morel (1873–1924) and Irish politician Roger Casement (1864–1916) began an effort to end Belgium's human rights abuses in the Congo. Despite some success, the Congo and many other parts of Africa continued to be exploited by Western powers.

Perspective and Narrator

King Leopold's Ghost is written from a third-person omniscient perspective.

About the Title

The title King Leopold's Ghost refers to the haunting presence of King Leopold II of Belgium (1835–1909; reigned 1865–1909) on the dead, maimed, and tortured people of his African colony, the Congo. Leopold II spearheaded the first European endeavor to colonize the Congo River basin in Africa. Using forced African labor, he exploited the region for its ivory and then rubber. The subtitle A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa describes Leopold II's greed; the terror exercised upon the Africans through hostage situations, starvation, and threat of death; and the heroism of the reformers who dedicated their lives to ending these atrocities.

Summary

This study guide for Adam Hochschild's King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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