Author(s): Adam Hochschild
In the late 1890s Edmund Morel, a shipping company official working in Antwerp, noticed something suspicious. When his company's ships docked from the Congo, they were filled with valuable cargoes of rubber and ivory. Yet when they sailed back to Africa they carried nothing in exchange. Nothing, that is, except soldiers, military supplies and firearms. Horrified, Morel realized that there could only be one explanation for the lucrative cargo: slave labour on a vast scale. Morel abandoned his job and became an investigative journalist. A man of energy and conviction he almost single-handedly made the Congo's slave-labour regime and the lives it took into a cause which would unite the world. Mark Twain, Booker T. Washington, Anatole France and even the Archbishop of Canterbury took up the crusade. this text seeks to highlight this footnote of history which has been largely forgotten.
A riveting and highly readable account of the Congo massacre, peopled by callous monarchs, corrupt adventurers and a handful of genuine heroes.
Adam Hochschild teaches writing at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley. He lives in San Francisco with his wife. His most recent book, Bury the Chains, was published to great acclaim by Macmillan in 2005 and will be available in Pan paperback in early 2006.