The Crime of the Congo

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The Floating Press, Oct 1, 2011 - History - 165 pages
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Although Arthur Conan Doyle is now best remembered as the creator of the timeless Sherlock Holmes series of detective stories, he was also something of a social activist in his day who used his acclaim to shed light on injustices. In The Crime of the Congo, Conan Doyle builds a devastating case against the Congo Free State, a kind of sociopolitical experiment undertaken by Belgium's King Leopold II, under whose rule indigenous Africans were subjected to horrible maltreatment. The Crime of the Congo tackles a difficult topic, but this is Arthur Conan Doyle at his rabble-rousing best.
 

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Contents

Preface
4
Introduction
7
I How the Congo Free State Came to Be Founded
11
II The Development of the Congo State
19
III The Working of the System
35
IV First Fruits of the System
41
V Further Fruits of the System
58
VI Voices from the Darkness
68
VIII King Leopolds Commission and its Report
98
IX The Congo After the Commission
124
X Some Catholic Testimony as to the Congo
138
XI The Evidence Up to Date
145
XII The Political Situation
162
XIII Some Congolese Apologies
167
XIV Solutions
173
Appendix
178

VII Consul Roger Casements Report
83

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About the author (2011)

The most famous fictional detective in the world is Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. However, Doyle was, at best, ambivalent about his immensely successful literary creation and, at worst, resentful that his more "serious" fiction was relatively ignored. Born in Edinburgh, Doyle studied medicine from 1876 to 1881 and received his M.D. in 1885. He worked as a military physician in South Africa during the Boer War and was knighted in 1902 for his exceptional service. Doyle was drawn to writing at an early age. Although he attempted to enter private practice in Southsea, Portsmouth, in 1882, he soon turned to writing in his spare time; it eventually became his profession. As a Liberal Unionist, Doyle ran, unsuccessfully, for Parliament in 1903. During his later years, Doyle became an avowed spiritualist. Doyle sold his first story, "The Mystery of the Sasassa Valley," to Chambers' Journal in 1879. When Doyle published the novel, A Study in Scarlet in 1887, Sherlock Holmes was introduced to an avid public. Doyle is reputed to have used one of his medical professors, Dr. Joseph Bell, as a model for Holmes's character. Eventually, Doyle wrote three additional Holmes novels and five collections of Holmes short stories. A brilliant, though somewhat eccentric, detective, Holmes employs scientific methods of observation and deduction to solve the mysteries that he investigates. Although an "amateur" private detective, he is frequently called upon by Scotland Yard for assistance. Holmes's assistant, the faithful Dr. Watson, provides a striking contrast to Holmes's brilliant intellect and, in Doyle's day at least, serves as a character with whom the reader can readily identify. Having tired of Holmes's popularity, Doyle even tried to kill the great detective in "The Final Problem" but was forced by an outraged public to resurrect him in 1903. Although Holmes remained Doyle's most popular literary creation, Doyle wrote prolifically in other genres, including historical adventure, science fiction, and supernatural fiction. Despite Doyle's sometimes careless writing, he was a superb storyteller. His great skill as a popular author lay in his technique of involving readers in his highly entertaining adventures.

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