Conrad’s indictment of Leopold’s Congo is powerful and for the most part depressing. Kurtz is a metaphor for all the ethical values of European civilization, laid waste in the heart of the jungle. The horror, indeed.
This history of the subjugation of the Congo chronicles a time and place where the truth is more sordid and unbelievable than any fiction could possibly be. The genocide Leopold unleashed resulted in the death of eight million people, all murdered in the name of quick profits for his empire. This book is a jeremiad against colonialism and the power of raw greed.