‘Exterminate All the Brutes’


Taking his title from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Sven Lindqvist traces Europe’s dark history in Africa in the form of a travel diary and a historical examination of European imperialism and racism over the past two centuries.

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The classic investigation – inspiration for a major HBO series – revealing the true horror of Europe’s racist colonial past in Africa. Over a quarter of a century ago historian Sven Lindqvist set out across Central Africa. Obsessed with a single line from Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness – Kurtz’s injunction to ‘Exterminate All the Brutes’ – he combined an account of his experiences with a profound historical investigation, revealing precisely what Europe’s imperial powers had exacted on Africa’s peoples over the course of the preceding two centuries. Shocking, humane, imaginative and deeply moral, Exterminate All the Brutes stands as timeless classic of historical investigation. It is essential reading for anybody seeking to face up to the brutal, genocidal, racist history on which Europe built its wealth. ‘Powerful’ Sunday Times ‘Exemplary’ Independent ‘Important’ Guardian