Born the son of a mining company executive, Adam Hochschild visited apartheid-era South Africa during his teens and observed the injustices of racism. He subsequently became active politically, joining the civil rights movement, demonstrating against the Vietnam War, and co-founding the activist magazine Mother Jones. His National Book Award-nominated Bury the Chains is a fascinating look at the British abolitionist movement of the late 1700s.
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San Francisco, California
Date of Birth:
October 5, 1942
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
A.B., Harvard College, 1963
J. Anthony Lukas Prize, Mark Lynton History Award, Bay Area Book Reviewers Association Award, California Book Awards Gold Medal, Lionel Gelber Prize (Canada), and Duff Cooper Prize (Britain) for King Leopold's Ghost, 1998
|2005 National Book Award Finalist|
|Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves|
"This is popular history at its best, dramatic, colorful, and wise," note the National Book Award judges of Hochschild's nominated work. "It shows how courageous slaves and shrewd political activists overturned not just a way of life, but a way of thinking, igniting a political movement that is with us today in the worldwide struggle for human rights."
|If at First You Don't Succeed...|
|"When I got my first piece published in a national magazine, I had a collection of rejection slips, rejection letters, and even a rejection telegram, framed," Hochschild reveals in our interview. "The proposal for the book of mine which has sold the most copies, King Leopold’s Ghost, was rejected by nine of the ten publishers it was submitted to."|
|The Best Book to Read First||Hochschild's Reading List|
|King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa|
Winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Prize for Nonfiction in 1999, King Leopold's Ghost was hailed by Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times as "A vivid, novelistic narrative that makes the reader acutely aware of the magnitude of the horror perpetrated by King Leopold and his minions."
|The Book of Daniel|
E. L. Doctorow
"I’m very fond of novels that situate their characters in a piece of history, and show the interaction between historical forces and individual lives," Hochschild explains in our interview. "Tolstoy’s War and Peace, above all; Paul Scott’s wonderful Raj Quartet, Doris Lessing’s Martha Quest novels...and E. L. Doctorow’s The Book of Daniel."
|Photo by Mikhail Lemkhin||