"An enthralling story . . . A work of history that reads like a novel." —Christian Science Monitor “As Hochschild’s brilliant book demonstrates, the great Congo scandal prefigured our own times . . . This book must be read and reread.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review
In the late nineteenth century, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold II of Belgium carried out a brutal plundering of the territory surrounding the Congo River. Ultimately slashing the area’s population by ten million, he still managed to shrewdly cultivate his reputation as a great humanitarian. A tale far richer than any novelist could invent, King Leopold’s Ghostis the horrifying account of a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions. It is also the deeply moving portrait of those who defied Leopold: African rebel leaders who fought against hopeless odds and a brave handful of missionaries, travelers, and young idealists who went to Africa for work or adventure but unexpectedly found themselves witnesses to a holocaust and participants in the twentieth century’s first great human rights movement.
A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist ANew York TimesNotable Book