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King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa

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I was debating some holocaust deniers and I was reading up on it, and I was wondering to myself “has a historical event of this magnitude been believed in by a society and turned out to be false?” Well…………has one?
In the 1880s, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold Ii of Belgium seized for himself the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. Carrying out a genocidal plundering of the Congo, he looted its rubber, brutalized its people, and ultimately slashed its population by ten million–all the while shrewdly cultivating his reputation as a great humanitarian. Heroic efforts to expose these crimes eventually led to the first great human rights movement of… more about book…

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I was debating some holocaust deniers and I was reading up on it, and I was wondering to myself “has a historical event of this magnitude been believed in by a society and turned out to be false?” Well…………has one?(r/AskHistorians)

When I was in school in Belgium in the 1960s, we were taught that the Belgians did nothing but good things in The Congo. My mother confirmed that at the time, all that most Belgians knew about what went on there was on the same level: it was all good, Belgium brought light and civilization to the natives. More recently, of course, people learned the real story: slavery, torture, mutilation, rape and downright genocide, lasting for decades.

It’s true that some people in Belgium knew about this, or parts of this, but for the general public the lie was all they ever heard. I remember how shocked my mother was when she read Adam Hochshild’s book, King Leoplod’s Ghost a few years ago.

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AskHistorians, history

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Sum Of Upvotes

570

Amazon Price

$7.31

Book Binding

Paperback

Type Code

ABIS_BOOK

Book Author

Adam Hochschild

Book Publisher

Houghton Mifflin

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King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa

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I was debating some holocaust deniers and I was reading up on it, and I was wondering to myself “has a historical event of this magnitude been believed in by a society and turned out to be false?” We

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