There is a broad consensus among those who are concerned with Africa that the plight of the continent is approaching the catastrophic. Partly the roots of the problem are historical, stemming from the exploitation and colonisation of the continent by European powers. An appreciation of the history of the relationship between Europe and Africa, a major episode of which this book examines, is indispensable to an understanding of the continent's present predicament. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries King Leopold II of the Belgians established a colony in Africa, which, as the Congo Free State, became a byword for unremitting exploitation and widespread atrocities. This book describes the creation, the development and the collapse both of this regime and of the Belgian colony that replaced it. Conclusions are drawn about the nature of European colonialism in Africa and the consequences for Europe itself.
'Offers an informed, readable account.' - Journal of Contemporary European Studies