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King Leopold

            King Leopold's Ghost tells a story of the Belgian King Leopold II and his misrule of an African colony, named (at the time) the Congo Free State. It is a wild and unpleasant story of a man's capacity for evil and the peculiar manifestation of it. In telling this story, Hochschild does a wonderful job of giving detailed descriptions, especially of the colorful individuals involved, both good and bad. His analysis of the situation is very solid, starting with the movement when the Congolese hero (Morel) finds out a very terrible fact and moving on through his (Morel) analysis and actions, all the while telling the story of a treacherous monster. Set in the palaces and boardrooms of Europe and in the villages of central Africa, it tells the story of the tragedy that took place during Leopold's so called rule, a tragedy that is so familiar to African-Americans, being told of our African brothers residing in the homeland. This "horror" story is just in fact that, a horror story, giving and revealing the utter most secrets of the respected King Leopold. Allow me to take you on a journey, pointing out the King's determination and, reasoning for what he'd done and the scars he left deep within the heart of the Congo. In the introduction I stated that Morel was the character that I considered to be the hero of this story, now the main question behind that would be, why? Along with, Who is Morel? His complete name was Edmund Dene Morel; he was a young clerk who worked for a Liverpool based firm where his duties were to supervise the unloading and reloading of the ships arriving in Antwerp, Belgium. As Morel watched the shipments arrive he noticed something, a great amount of ivory and rubber were being transported into Belgium but nothing was being taken out, as the book states: "There is no trade going on here. Little or nothing is being exchanged for the rubber and ivory with almost no goods being sent to Africa to pay for them, he realizes that there can be only one explanation for their source: slave labor.

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