Holocaust in the Congo to be explored by Hochschild

Author Adam Hochschild will address “The Holocaust in the Congo — Then and Today” for the annual Holocaust Memorial Lecture at 11 a.m. Nov. 5 in Graham Chapel for the Assembly Series.

Adam Hochschild
Adam Hochschild

Hochschild’s talk will be based on his book King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa (1998), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and won awards in three countries.

In it, Hochschild brings to light a little-known history that became one of the worst holocausts of our time, causing the loss of 5 million to 8 million African lives in the Belgian king’s pursuit for rubber and money. The controversy created by the Congo atrocities in the early 1900s spanned the globe, igniting an international human rights movement and bringing together unlikely heroes from many different countries.

Hochschild is serving as a consultant and commentator on a television documentary based on the book.

Hochschild has written four others books: Half the Way Home: A Memoir of Father and Son (1986); The Mirror at Midnight: A South African Journey (1990); The Unquiet Ghost: Russians Remember Stalin (1994); and Finding the Trapdoor: Essays, Portraits Travels (1997), a collection of essays that won the PEN/Spielvogel-Diamonstein Award for the Art of the Essay.

His books have been translated into 11 languages, and three of them have been named a Notable Book of the Year.

He also contributes to a number of national periodicals, including The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, The New York Review of Books and The New York Times Magazine. He was a co-founder of Mother Jones magazine and served as a writer and editor from 1974-1981.

In addition, Hochschild teaches writing at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and has guest-taught at other colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. He received a Fulbright Fellowship in 1997.

Assembly Series talks are free and open to the public. For more information, call 935-4620 or go online to wupa.wustl.edu/assembly.

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