THE VIOLENCE OF EMPIRE, the tragedy of the Congo-Océan railroad

: Daughton (J.)

R 595.00
- +

368pp., illus., map, hardback, d.w., First UK EditionGloucestershire, 2021


Published simultaneously in the USA as In the Forest of No Joy: The Congo-Océan railroad and the tragedy of French colonialism.

The Congo-Océan railroad stretches across the Republic of Congo from Brazzaville to the Atlantic port of Pointe-Noir. Completed in 1934, when Equatorial Africa was a French colony, it was one of the deadliest construction projects in history, likely resulting in at least 20,000 deaths.

"If such a shockingly large number of people had been worked to death building a railroad in Europe or the United States, it would be as notorious as the worst deeds of Hitler or Stalin. J. P. Daughton puts this little-known tragedy on the record in a searing, unforgettable and necessary way." Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold’s Ghost

"Meticulously researched, vividly narrated and devastatingly compelling, The Violence of Empire provides a significant contribution to the mounting evidence that lays bare the self-deceiving lie at the heart of empire, that of the 'civilising mission'. J. P. Daughton details the horrific abuse carried out by the colonial regime upon the African population during the construction of the Congo-Océan railroad, from forced labour to torture and murder, and finds evidence not just of African suffering but also African resistance" Aminatta Forna, author of The Devil that Danced on the Water

Historian J. P. Daughton has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University, and provided media commentary for the Atlantic, Newsweek, Time and CNN. He lives in San Francisco.