Author Adam Hochschild will deliver the annual Holocaust Memorial lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 11 a.m. The lecture, entitled “The Holocaust in the Congo – Then and Today,” is free and open to the public. It will be held in Graham Chapel, located just north of Mallinckrodt Center (6445 Forsyth Blvd.) on the Washington University campus.
Hochschild’s talk will be based on his acclaimed book, King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa (1998). King Leopold’s Ghost gained international recognition, 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 five to eight million African lives in the Belgium 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. Currently, he is serving as a consultant and commentator on a television documentary based on the book.
In addition to King Leopold’s Ghost, Hochschild has written four others: 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 a collection of essays called Finding the Trapdoor: Essays, Portraits Travels (1997), which won the PEN/Spielvogel-Diamonstein Award for the Art of the Essay. His books have been translated into eleven languages; three of them have been named a Notable Books of the Year.
He also contributes to a number of national periodicals, including The New Yorker, Harper’s, 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 to 1981. Prior to that work, Hochschild was a writer/editor for Ramparts magazine and was a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle.
In addition, Hochschild teaches writing at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley, and has guest taught at other colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. He received a Fulbright fellowship in 1997.
For more information, call (314) 935-4620 or visit the Assembly Series Web page (http://wupa.wustl.edu/assembly).