American Imperialist: Cruelty and Consequence in the Scramble for Africa (Hardcover)
by Arwen P. Mohun
Richard Dorsey Mohun spent his career circulating among the eastern United States, the cities and courts of Europe, and the African continent, as he served the US State Department at some points and King Leopold of Belgium at others. A freelance imperialist, he implemented the schemes of American investors and the Congo Free State alike. Without men like him, Africa's history might have unfolded very differently. How did an ordinary son of a Washington bookseller become the agent of American corporate greed and European imperial ambition? Why did he choose to act in ways that ranged from thoughtless and amoral to criminal and unforgivable?
With unblinking clarity and precision, historian Arwen P. Mohun interrogates the life and actions of her great-grandfather in American Imperialist. She seeks not to excuse the man known as Dorsey but to understand how individual ambition and imperial lust fueled each other, to catastrophic ends. Ultimately, she offers a nuanced portrait of how her great-grandfather's pursuit of career success and financial security for his family came at a tragic cost to countless Africans.
About the Author
Arwen P. Mohun is professor of history at the University of Delaware. She teaches and writes about capitalism, technology, and gender in American history. Her most recent book is Risk: Negotiating Safety in American Society.
Category: History, Motherland Studies, Imperialism
Book Condition: New
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Date Published: November 16, 2023
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