TVBC: King Leopold's Ghost - NonFiction Discussion

Discussion in 'Non-WOT - Literature and Fiction' started by Kerna Shedrian, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. Kerna Shedrian

    Kerna Shedrian Aes Sedai

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    The TarValon Book Club have chosen to read this very interesting book on colonization in Africa of the Belgian Congo, and the resulting genocide.

    I think I'll start with this book myself. That way, when I read the fictional novels of colonization later I'll be able to see if they apply as much to reality.

    Is anyone else reading this one?
     
  2. Maibella ni Rhoiden t'al'Varrak

    Maibella ni Rhoiden t'al'Varrak Aes Sedai TVT Editor Forum Moderator

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    Re: TVBC: King Leopold's Curse - NonFiction Discussion

    I'm on the library waiting list for the audio version of this book. It was on my TBR list before it was selected for this book club. :D I'm really excited to read it. I recently read a bunch of non-fiction about the Victorian era explorers who "opened Africa" to Europe. I'm looking forward to seeing if anything I've read recently adds to my appreciation of this book.
     
  3. Kerna Shedrian

    Kerna Shedrian Aes Sedai

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    Re: TVBC: King Leopold's Curse - NonFiction Discussion

    I'm kinda liking this one so far.
    I have to admit to not really picking up nonFiction before this. I always thought it'd be too... dry. The author really adds tone to his narrative though so this isn't that hard to get through.

    I'm only just at the bit were he's made King though.
     
  4. Asandra al'Terra

    Asandra al'Terra Marquise de Sparkle Aes Sedai Director of Mods and Ops Forum Moderator

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    Re: TVBC: King Leopold's Curse - NonFiction Discussion

    Wait, do you mean "King Leopold's Ghost"? :look cause I own that one and I've been excited to read it!
     
  5. Maibella ni Rhoiden t'al'Varrak

    Maibella ni Rhoiden t'al'Varrak Aes Sedai TVT Editor Forum Moderator

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    Re: TVBC: King Leopold's Curse - NonFiction Discussion

    Oh, yeah, that's the book I'm talking about too ... I think that was the one discussed previously in the book club thread, but maybe I was just confused and got it wrong? :look
     
  6. Kerna Shedrian

    Kerna Shedrian Aes Sedai

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    :look
    Whoops! I am reading the right one. Can I blame a NY hangover?
     
  7. Cassie Dainar

    Cassie Dainar Darth Dainar Shatayan Aes Sedai

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    Having finished Primary Inversion, I plan to start this one next. I often enjoy non-fiction so this one will be interesting.
     
  8. Cassie Dainar

    Cassie Dainar Darth Dainar Shatayan Aes Sedai

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    I'm about half-way through this one and it's certainly been an eye opener. It also has made me realize that aside from remembering that I've read "Heart of Darkness", I don't recall a thing about it. I might have to reread that novel after I finish this book.
     
  9. Asandra al'Terra

    Asandra al'Terra Marquise de Sparkle Aes Sedai Director of Mods and Ops Forum Moderator

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    I'm only a couple of pages in! I need to focus on it. D:
     
  10. Maibella ni Rhoiden t'al'Varrak

    Maibella ni Rhoiden t'al'Varrak Aes Sedai TVT Editor Forum Moderator

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    I finished the audio book of this over the weekend. I found it to be well written and very interesting, although of course heartbreaking as well.

    Recently I consumed several non fiction books about Victorian era explorers, including EXPLORERS OF THE NILE by Tim Jeal and a few other books specifically about Livingston and Stanley. That background helped a great deal in my understanding of the early parts of this book. I felt like I had solid background knowledge that helped me see the big picture.

    A few thoughts that might be considered spoilers:
    One thing that struck me when it was pointed out that the white Europeans who were fighting against "forced labor" in the Congo were only a part of the struggle; black Africans also fought against this system, but their names and actions were (for the most part) never recorded. This part was painful to read. It made me think about all the people who fought and died, and how they were all forgotten by both the local people (since so many were killed that even community memory was erased) and by history. Remembrance of the dead is a huge thing for me - I'm always looking for ways to preserve the past and save family history - so this impacted me in a deep way.

    I also found it interesting the way Caseman transferred his passions to the cause of Irish independence in later years. The author pointed out how, in some ways, Morrell and Caseman were ahead of their time in the way they saw the struggle for freedom in the Congo in much the same light as the struggle for freedom in other parts of the world. They saw the Africans as people, not just commodities as so many of their contemporaries did.

    I don't have the book handy so I can't recall the name of the African American preacher who went to the Congo. His story was fascinating to me. How difficult it must have been for him to go back to the US afterward and face such intense prejudice.

    I'd love to hear from anyone else who has read this book!