The definitive account of exploitation in the Congo, introduced by Adam Hochschild
In the early twentieth century, the worldwide rubber boom led British entrepreneur Lord Leverhulme to the Belgian Congo. Warmly welcomed by the murderous regime of King Leopold II, Leverhulme set up a private kingdom reliant on the horrific Belgian system of forced labour, a programme that reduced the population of Congo by half and accounted for more deaths than the Nazi Holocaust. In this definitive, meticulously researched history, Jules Marchal exposes the nature of forced labour under Lord Leverhulme’s rule and the appalling conditions imposed upon the people of Congo.
With an extensive introduction by Adam Hochschild, Lord Leverhulme’s Ghosts is an important and urgently needed account of a laboratory of colonial exploitation.
What People Are Saying
“His capacious narrative is both disturbing and fascinating.” New Yorker
“A hundred years ago, enlightened people in the western world were outraged by a holocaust in Africa which left millions dead. Yet today not one person in a thousand could say what the fuss was all about, unless, of course, they have already read this amazing book.” Tariq Ali, Financial Times
“A brilliantly told tale, at once horrifying and pleasurable to read.” Publishers Weekly
“No other scholar, looking at any other part of Africa, has studied colonial forced labour as thoroughly as Marchal has in the Congo.” Adam Hochschild, from the introduction