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King Leopold's Ghost

             Author Adam Hochschild in his book, "King Leopold's Ghost" reveals to the reader a chilling past, full of blatant crimes hidden from the world's eyes. With the coverings of lies and deception pulled back, Hochschild shows us, "the blood spilled in the Congo, the stolen land, the severed hands, the shattered families and orphaned children". He places the ideals of colonialism on a pedestal, often comparing the brutal acts and cover-ups of King Leopold to those of Stalin and Hitler. In the mists of murders, however, a few beacons of hope would bring light upon a darkened world. These courageous souls would eventually start the ball rolling upon the new idea of worldwide "awareness". The power of this novel displays itself through its revealing knowledge and information that allows for new understandings and insight into such an uncharted territory. (Hochschild, pp. 293).
             King Leopold set out to do one thing with the Congo, and that was to get filthy rich in any means possible, all under the name of "colonization". The king had many tools at his disposal, he had lies, Religion, his stature, manipulation, his connections, and was very willing to use all of them for his own selfish greed. From the beginning of the explorations into Africa, lies were beginning as building blocks for future deceptions to take place. Leopold along side Henry Morton Stanley would tell their staff to keep silent and, "forbade them to divulge anything about the real purpose of their work," Leopold would tell the press, "Only scientific explorations are intended." A main tactic proposed by Leopold was to cleanse the Congo of its Arab slave-traders, which in turn would give him authorization to, "levy import duties to finance the attack on slavery." He would tell the world that he has offered his, "services of the new Congo state toward this noble end," when in fact he would end up enslaving the state for his own personal use.

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