"Exterminate All the Brutes"
New York: The New Press, 1996. Octavo. Black boards, lightly scuffed at the crown and heal of the spine in an unclipped pictorial dust wrapper, mylar-backed. 179 pages. First edition. Near fine.
One Man’s Odyssey into the Heart of Darkness and the Origins of European Genocide. A travel memoir providing an impressionistic history of European colonialism, the title lifted from Joseph Conrad's haunted fable of colonialism. Lindqvist uses his travelogue as a way chart Western imperialism's own brutal journey through time. He turns up newspaper accounts of a Belgian captain who decorated his flower beds with the heads of African natives; of British massacres of wounded Mahdist soldiers after the battle of Omdurman, during which ``within the space of five hours, the strongest and best-armed savage army yet arrayed against a modern European power had been destroyed and dispersed, with hardly any difficulty;'' of German concentration camps in the Namibian desert where thousands of natives perished. A modern classic, Lindqvist's very best.
"Everywhere in the world where knowledge is being suppressed, knowledge that, if it were made known, would shatter our image of the world and force us to question ourselves – everywhere there Heart of Darkness is being enacted."