king leopold's ghost: Biography
Adam Hochschild is a prize-winning journalist born in New York City in 1942. He has been involved in human rights work since he was a teenager, when he spent a summer in South Africa working on an antigovernment newspaper. He was also a civil rights worker in Mississippi in 1964 and joined the anti-war movement during the Vietnam War. He began his journalism career as a writer for the San Franciso Chronicle. He also spent ten years writing for leftwing publications such as Ramparts, and was a co-founder of Mother Jones in the 1970s.
His first book was a memoir, Half the Way Home: A Memoir of Father and Son (1986), a loving portrait of difficulties with his father. The Mirror at Midnight: A South African Journey 1990) was a study of the South African political system of apartheid. The Unquiet Ghost: Russians Remember Stalin (1994) details the years of the Stalin mass murders, using interviews of gulag survivors and their jailors. A collection of personal essays appeared as Finding the Trapdoor: Essays, Portraits, Travels (1997), which won the PEN/Spielvogel-Diamonstein Award for the Art of the Essay. King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa (1998) won the Duff Cooper Prize in Britain, the Mark Lynton History Prize and the J. Anthony Lucas Award in the United States, and was a finalist for the 1998 National Book Critics Circle Award. The antislavery movement in England is the subject of Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free the Empire’s Slaves (2005). To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 (2011) speaks of the anti-war critics who were jailed for opposing World War I, one of the costliest wars in history.
Hochschild writes for Harper’s Magazine, the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, the New York Times Magazine, and the Nation. He has been a commentator on “All Things Considered” for National Public Radio. He was a Fullbright Lecturer in India and now teaches at the Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, sociologist, Arlie Russell Hochschild. They have two sons and two granddaughters.