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Heroes of EmpireFive Charismatic Men and the Conquest of Africa$
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Edward Berenson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520234277

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520234277.001.0001

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Brazza and the Scandal of the Congo

Brazza and the Scandal of the Congo

(p.197) Six Brazza and the Scandal of the Congo
Heroes of Empire

Edward Berenson

University of California Press

The Congo scandal would ultimately serve to reinforce prevailing ideas about the merits of colonialism in France, but government officials could not, at the outset, be confident that such would be the case. The government launched a powerful campaign to play down the significance of the Congo reports, a campaign whose outcome remained in doubt for nearly a year. With Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza involved, the scandal would be hard to contain. Brazza had long been portrayed as a martyr, working selflessly and at the cost of his health and well-being to create a great empire for France. The Congo scandal had proved to be one of those wrenching public phenomena that ultimately bring people together rather than pulling them apart.

Keywords:   Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, Congo scandal, colonialism, France, government

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