King Leopold's Ghost

by Adam Hochschild

A fine but average book. Unfortunately, the book falls victim to the woes of history written by winners rather than the losers. In the book, so little is dedicated to the actual tactics that Leopold’s men used to cement their status besides small mentions of superstition, the maxim gun, and harsh punishment. Why did Congo fall to such few white men?

What’s incredibly chilling in the book is the hidden mention that the African rebels against Belgium rule were often hunted and fought with the African armies of Belgium. Why has the western world been able or allowed to commit such atrocities without major pushback? Or more important, why has only western civilization flourished in recent centuries while native populations, whether Native American, Mexican, African, or Asian, been defeated. I believe there’s an definitive answer to this. Unfortunately, it’s not present in this book.


Next - Seven Brief Lessons of Physics

Return to books

· Book Review