I want to say that I enjoyed this book, but enjoy is not really a word I would use when dealing with such a grim subject. King Leopold III of Belgium decided that to compensate for the fact that his country was so small, he would take a large slice of Africa and use it for his own personal fiefdom. He didn't want to visit it, he didn't especially want to bring religion to the area, he wanted to bleed it dry so he could live in even more splendor than he had grown accustomed to. By setting up several phony organisations and claiming to bring civilisation to the area, Leopold tricked countless people, companies and even entire countries into thinking that he was doing the noble thing and bringing free trade to area. Instead countless millions of African men, woman and children lost their homes, their villages, their hands, their freedom and their lives in the race for ivory and rubber while the white colonists swept up the profits.
It's an excellent book and one which goes a long way to explains the Congo's troubles but be warned, it's grim reading. The brutality meted out to the locals and the casual disregard of human life by the White officers is appalling, but it's a subject you can't shirk if you're interested in the history.