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Selling the Congo, Selling the Congo, 0803237774, 0-8032-3777-4, 978-0-8032-3777-3, 9780803237773, Matthew G. Stanard, , Selling the Congo, 0803239882, 0-8032-3988-2, 978-0-8032-3988-3, 9780803239883, Matthew G. Stanard, , Selling the Congo, 080327436X, 0-8032-7436-X, 978-0-8032-7436-5, 9780803274365, Matthew G. Stanard

Selling the Congo
A History of European Pro-Empire Propaganda and the Making of Belgian Imperialism
Matthew G. Stanard

2012. 408 pp.
10 illustrations, 1 chart
$65.00 s
2015. 408 pp.
$30.00 s
Expected Availability 8/1/2015

Belgium was a small, neutral country without a colonial tradition when King Leopold II ceded the Congo, his personal property, to the state in 1908. For the next half century Belgium not only ruled an African empire but also, through widespread, enduring, and eagerly embraced propaganda, produced an imperialist-minded citizenry.

Selling the Congo is a study of European pro-empire propaganda in Belgium, with particular emphasis on the period 1908–60. Matthew G. Stanard questions the nature of Belgian imperialism in the Congo and considers the Belgian case in light of literature on the French, British, and other European overseas empires. Comparing Belgium to other imperial powers, the book finds that pro-empire propaganda was a basic part of European overseas expansion and administration during the modern period. Arguing against the long-held belief that Belgians were merely “reluctant imperialists,” Stanard demonstrates that in fact many Belgians readily embraced imperialistic propaganda.

Selling the Congo contributes to our understanding of the effectiveness of twentieth-century propaganda by revealing its successes and failures in the Belgian case. Many readers familiar with more-popular histories of Belgian imperialism will find in this book a deeper examination of European involvement in central Africa during the colonial era.

Matthew G. Stanard is an associate professor of history at Berry College. His articles have appeared in such publications as the Journal of Contemporary History, French Colonial History, and European History Quarterly.

"[Selling the Congo is a] fascinating history of Belgium's 20th-century colonial culture."—Martin Rubin, Wall Street Journal

"The breadth of topics covered in this book is wide—each of them could fill a separate monograph. It is to Stanard's credit that he is able to pull them together. . . . Scholars of other European empires seeking to gain comparative knowledge will find this book useful."—Sarah Van Beurden, H-France

"[Selling the Congo contributes] to a broader understanding of the impact of colonialism on colonial powers."—Geert Castryck, H-Net

"Matthew Stanard's Selling the Congo looks to expand our view of European colonial culture and consider the new understandings of empire in a different context, that of Belgian imperialism and pro-empire propaganda."—Elizabeth Stice, H-Empire

"[Selling the Congo is] a fascinating cultural history of pro-empire propaganda in Belgium . . . highly recommended for historians of European colonial history."—Karen A. Mingst, Spectrum: Journal of Global Studies

"This book is recommended not only because of its intrinsic merits but also because it addresses in a serious way a particular aspect of European history that has for the most part been entirely overlooked by historians."—Ilunga Tchoma Kitenge, African Studies Quarterly

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