Movies & TV
My movies & TV
Buy gift card
My Play activity
Adam Hochschild is an American author, journalist, and lecturer. His well-known works include King Leopold's Ghost, To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914–1918, Bury the Chains, The Mirror at Midnight, and The Unquiet Ghost.
King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa
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.
To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918
World War I stands as one of history’s 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 war’s critics, alongside its generals and heroes. Thrown in jail for their opposition to the war were Britain’s 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 Britain’s 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?
Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves
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.
The Unquiet Ghost: Russians Remember Stalin
Although some twenty million people died during Stalin’s reign of terror, only with the advent of glasnost did Russians begin to confront their memories of that time. In 1991, Adam Hochschild spent nearly six months in Russia talking to gulag survivors, retired concentration camp guards, and countless others. The result is a riveting evocation of a country still haunted by the ghost of Stalin.
Half the Way Home: A Memoir of Father and Son
A New York Times Notable Book: “An extraordinarily moving portrait of the complexities and confusions of familial love” (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times).
From the author of King Leopold’s Ghost, Half the Way Home is a compelling memoir about a complicated father-son relationship.
Adam Hochschild never used the words “Dad” or “Daddy,” just “Father.” The only son of Harold Hochschild—the head of a multinational mining corporation—Adam always felt as though his father remained purposefully at a distance—a demanding, immovable pillar to be respected and sometimes feared.
Here, in lyrical prose, Hochschild recounts his privileged upbringing at his family’s estate in the Adirondacks, his coming-of-age in the tumultuous 1960s, and his enduringly conflicted relationship with his father. But as a boy grows into a man, times change and perspectives shift, and a chance for reconciliation emerges from the space between.
Hailed by Studs Terkel as “an exquisite memoir of a boy growing up,” Half the Way Home is ultimately the story of a father and his son, and the unexpected peace finally made between them. “It is a primer on the upper class and on class itself, a series of meditations on the burden of wealth to the liberal consciousness and even a commentary on what it means to be a Jew in America. . . . This is a fine and moving book” (People).
Finding the Trapdoor: Essays, Portraits, Travels
For some 30 years, Adam Hochschild’s voice has been one of the most distinctive in American journalism. With grace and wit, he has brought to a startling variety of subjects a combination of adventurous reporting and personal honesty. Hochschild’s readers can count on an unobtrusive erudition, a sense of justice, and an irrepressible curiosity about life.
Admirers of Hochschild’s Half the Way Home: A Memoir of Father and Son will find these articles in the same warm autobiographical voice that made the book so memorable: he revisits his time as a civil rights worker in Mississippi, as a New England prep school student, and as a teenager seeing apartheid firsthand in South Africa. But readers will find much more here as well: profiles of an adoptive Gypsy and of a governor general’s son turned revolutionary, essays about Ernest Hemmingway and John F. Kennedy, a journey to one of the most remote corners of the Amazon rain forest, and a remarkable evocation of two of Hochschild’s personal heroes—who, in hillside trenches at the height of the Russian Civil War, faced each other across the battlefield.
The Mirror at Midnight: A South African Journey
A “stunning blend of reportage, travelogue, history and meditation” by the New York Times–bestselling author of King Leopold’s Ghost (Publishers Weekly).
National Book Award finalist Adam Hochschild brings a lifetime’s familiarity with South Africa to bear in this eye-opening examination of a critical turning point in that nation’s history: the Great Trek of 1836–39, during which Dutch-speaking white settlers, known as Boers, journeyed deep into the country’s interior to escape the British colonial administration.
The mass migration culminated with the massacre of indigenous Zulus in the 1838 Battle of Blood River. Looking at the tensions of modern South Africa through the dramatic prism of the nineteenth century, Hochschild vividly recreates the battle—and its contentious commemoration by rival groups 150 years later. In his epilogue, Hochschild extends his view to the astonishing political changes that have occurred in the country in recent decades—and the changes yet to be made.
Hochschild’s incisive take on these events, noted Nadine Gordimer, “is far more than an outsider’s perception of the drama of our country. Read him, in particular, to understand the rise of white extremism which is threatening the democratic vision of the African National Congress and its allied progressive constituency among people of all colors.”
“A good book for anyone who wants a succinct and precise account of how this fascinating country has got where it is. . . . This is a book I recommend warmly.” —Archbishop Desmond Tutu
“One of the most illuminating books ever written on contemporary South Africa.” —Publishers Weekly
“Thoroughly researched, immensely readable . . . A work of vivid reportage and astute political analysis.” —San Francisco Chronicle
Site Terms of Service
Location: United States
Language: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments
Terms of Service