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Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an...

PartNumber: 9780618619078
From the author of the widely acclaimed King Leopold's Ghost comes the taut, gripping account of one of the most brilliantly organized social justice campaigns in history -- the fight to free the slaves of the British Empire. In early 1787, twelve men -- a printer, a lawyer, a clergyman, and others united by their hatred of slavery -- came together in a London printing shop and began the world's first grass-roots movement, battling for the rights of people on another continent. Masterfully stoking public opinion, the movement's leaders pioneered a variety of techniques that have been adopted by citizens' movements ever since, from consumer boycotts to wall posters and lapel buttons to celebrity endorsements. A deft chronicle of this groundbreaking antislavery crusade and its powerful enemies, Bury the Chains gives a little-celebrated human rights watershed its due at last.


King Leopold's Ghost: A Story Of Greed, Terror, And Heroism ...

PartNumber: 046442001908
In the 1880s, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold Ii of Belgium seized for himself the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. Carrying out a genocidal plundering of the Congo, he looted its rubber, brutalized its people, and ultimately slashed its population by ten million--all the while shrewdly cultivating his reputation as a great humanitarian. Heroic efforts to expose these crimes eventually led to the first great human rights movement of the twentieth century, in which everyone from Mark Twain to the Archbishop of Canterbury participated. King Leopold's Ghost is the haunting account of a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions, a man as cunning, charming, and cruel as any of the great Shakespearean villains. It is also the deeply moving portrait of those who fought Leopold: a brave handful of missionaries, travelers, and young idealists who went to Africa for work or adventure and unexpectedly found themselves witnesses to a holocaust. Adam Hochschild brings this largely untold story alive with the wit and skill of a Barbara Tuchman. Like her, he knows that history often provides a far richer cast of characters than any novelist could invent. Chief among them is Edmund Morel, a young British shipping agent who went on to lead the international crusade against Leopold. Another hero of this tale, the Irish patriot Roger Casement, ended his life on a London gallows. Two courageous black Americans, George Washington Williams and William Sheppard, risked much to bring evidence of the Congo atrocities to the outside world. Sailing into the middle of the story was a young Congo River steamboat officer named Joseph Conrad. And looming above them all, the duplicitous billionaire King Leopold Ii. With great power and compassion, King Leopold's Ghost will brand the tragedy of the Congo--too long forgotten--onto the conscience of the West.

King Leopold of Belgium, writes historian Adam Hochschild in this grim history, did not much care for his native land or his subjects, all of which he dismissed as "small country, small people." Even so, he searched the globe to find a colony for Belgium, frantic that the scramble of other European powers for overseas dominions in Africa and Asia would leave nothing for himself or his people. When he eventually found a suitable location in what would become the Belgian Congo, later known as Zaire and now simply as Congo, Leopold set about establishing a rule of terror that would culminate in the deaths of 4 to 8 million indigenous people, "a death toll," Hochschild writes, "of Holocaust dimensions." Those who survived went to work mining ore or harvesting rubber, yielding a fortune for the Belgian king, who salted away billions of dollars in hidden bank accounts throughout the world. Hochschild's fine book of historical inquiry, which draws heavily on eyewitness accounts of the colonialists' savagery, brings this little-studied episode in European and African history into new light. --Gregory McNamee

To End All Wars: A Story Of Loyalty And Rebellion, 1914-1918...

"This is the kind of investigatory history Hochschild pulls off like no one else . . . Hochschild is a master at chronicling how prevailing cultural opinion is formed and, less frequently, how it's challenged." Maureen Corrigan, NPRs Fresh Air

World War I was supposed to be the war to end all wars. Over four long years, nations around the globe were sucked into the tempest, and millions of men died on the battlefields. To this day, the war stands as one of historys most senseless spasms of carnage, defying rational explanation.

To End All Wars focuses on the long-ignored moral drama of the wars critics, alongside its generals and heroes. Many of these dissenters were thrown in jail for their opposition to the war, from a future Nobel Prize winner to an editor behind bars who distributed a clandestine newspaper on toilet paper. These critics were sometimes intimately connected to their enemy hawks: one of Britains most prominent women pacifist campaigners had a brother who was commander in chief on the Western Front. Two well-known sisters split so bitterly over the war that they ended up publishing newspapers that attacked each other.

As Adam Hochschild brings the Great War to life as never before, he forces us to confront the big questions: Why did so many nations get so swept up in the violence? Why couldnt cooler heads prevail? And can we ever avoid repeating history?

"Hochschild brings fresh drama to the story and explores it in provocative ways . . . Exemplary in all respects." Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

"Superb . . . Brilliantly written and reads like a novel . . . [Hochschild] gives us yet another absorbing chronicle of the redeeming power of protest." Minneapolis Star Tribune


Product Description
World War I stands as one of historys most senseless spasms of carnage, defying rational explanation. In a riveting, suspenseful narrative with haunting echoes for our own time, Adam Hochschild brings it to life as never before. He focuses on the long-ignored moral drama of the wars critics, alongside its generals and heroes. Thrown in jail for their opposition to the war were Britains leading investigative journalist, a future winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and an editor who, behind bars, published a newspaper for his fellow inmates on toilet paper. These critics were sometimes intimately connected to their enemy hawks: one of Britains most prominent women pacifist campaigners had a brother who was commander in chief on the Western Front. Two well-known sisters split so bitterly over the war that they ended up publishing newspapers that attacked each other.

Today, hundreds of military cemeteries spread across the fields of northern France and Belgium contain the bodies of millions of men who died in the war to end all wars. Can we ever avoid repeating history?




Take a Look Inside To End All Wars
(Click on Images to Enlarge)


Passchendaele, the battle that cost British forces more than 260,000 dead and wounded

King George V and Queen Mary in Delhi



Emmeline Parkhurst, under arrest

John S. Clark, from circus animal tamer to underground antiwar activist

Charlotte Despard, suffragette, prison veteran, pacifist, communist, IRA supporter





A Conversation with Author Adam Hochschild

Q: In the past youve written mostly about issues of human rights and social justice, but now a book about the First World Warwhy?

A: Ive long been obsessed and fascinated by the war, for it remade our world for the worse in almost every conceivable way. In addition to killing approximately 20 million soldiers and civilians, the war also ignited the Russian Revolution, sowed the anger that allowed Hitler to seize power, and permanently darkened our outlook on human nature and human self-destructiveness. But also Ive always seen the war as a time when men and women faced a moral challenge as great as that faced by those who lived, say, in the time of slavery. Tens of thousands of people were wise enough to foresee, in 1914, the likely bloodshed that a war among the worlds major industrial powers would causeand, courageously, they refused to take part.

Q: What are you trying to do in To End All Wars that makes it different from other books about the First World War?

A: Most books about any war, including this one, tell the story as a conflict between two sides. Instead, Ive tried to tell the story of 19141918 as a struggle between those who felt the war was something noble and necessary, and those who felt it was absolute madness.

Q: Were there war resisters on both sides?

A: Yes. But Ive concentrated on one country, Britain. For various reasonsa major one being that at the wars outset Britain itself was not attackedthere was a stronger antiwar movement there than anywhere else. More than 20,000 British men of military age refused the draft, and, as a matter of principle, many also refused the non-combatant alternative service offered to conscientious objectors, such as working in war industries or driving ambulances. More than 6,000 of these young men went to prison under very harsh conditions, as did some brave, outspoken critics of the war. This is one of the largest groups of people ever behind bars for political reasons in a Western democracyand certainly one of the most interesting. Their number included the countrys leading investigative journalist, a future Nobel Prize-winner, more than half a dozen future members of Parliament, and a former editor who would publish a clandestine prison newspaper on sheets of toilet paper.

Q: So the book is just about them?

A: Not only. I am equally intrigued by the people who fought the war, such as the generals who always thought the next battle was going to be the big breakthrough, and kept the cavalry ready to charge through the gapwhich never came, of course. So my cast of characters includes both resisters and those who fought. And there are interesting ties between them. Few people know, for instance, that Britains commander-in-chief on the Western Front for the first year and a half of combat had a sister who was an ardent, vocal pacifist. Or that the Minister for War had close friends whose son was not only in jail as a resister but was in solitary confinement for refusing to obey prison rules. Two well-known sisters, the suffragettes Christabel and Sylvia Pankhurst, broke with each other so bitterly over the war that they each edited a newspaper that attacked the other.

Q: Are all of your characters well-known?

A: Not at all. Albert Rochester was a soldier who got into trouble for writing a letter to a newspaper complaining that every British officer had his own private servant. John S. Clarke was an antiwar radical, working undergroundwho in his youth had made his living as a circus lion-tamer. Emily Hobhouse believed the nations of Europe should be negotiating, not fighting. She evaded British government travel restrictions, went to Berlin in 1916 and talked peace terms with the foreign ministerthe sole private citizen in Europe who actually traveled to the other side in search of peace. You couldnt invent people like this.

Q: What were your sources of information?

A: When I write history, I like to hear peoples own voices, so as much as possible I relied on personal letters, diaries, memoirs and the like. But there was one additional, unexpected, rich trove of material. In 19141918, both civilian and military intelligence agents watched the Britains antiwar activists intently. They infiltrated spies into peace organizations, sometimes sent in agents provocateurs to try to get pacifists to do things they could be arrested for, and at even the smallest public antiwar meeting, one of Scotland Yards dozen shorthand writers would be there taking notes. These agents reports, even those of the agents provocateurs bragging about what they accomplished, are in Britains National Archives, some of them opened to public view for the first time only in the last few years.

(Photo by Spark Media)