Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Can you judge a book by its cover?

Certainly not KING LEOPOLD'S GHOST, unless you have an inkling that Josef Conrad's THE HEART OF DARKNESS was based on his six months of visiting the hellish Congo Free State plantation dotting the Congo River and that Kurtz was not one man but many fervently seeking their fortune by exploiting the natural resources in the jungles from ivory to rubber to human labor.

Henry Morton Stanley of 'Doctor Livingstone I presume' fame sets the mark for future company men working for the owner of the Congo, the King of Belgium.

And all he wanted was money.

If it meant cutting off the hands of the workers.

So be it.

The author conjures up a fascinating coterie of characters aside from the afore mentioned, none more quixotic than Roger Casement, the gay Irish rebel, who helps broaden the campaign against King Leopold's ghastly reign,

"Oh the horror indeed.

The book is worth reading, but only if you can get it from the library along with SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA and of course Alan Whitehead's two masterpieces WHITE NILE and THE BLUE NILE.Good luck.

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