History is usually rendered boring and inaccessible through pedantic language and an influx of context-less facts and statistics.
Hochschild removes all that and writes the story of history as if he were writing a novel. His use of imagery and figurative language builds the reader’s interest, his flow of characters make the reader greedy for the ending to find out what happens to them.
Writings about genocide frequently rely on the shocking statistics, blasted again and again in your face, intended for you to get the true scope of the horror.
Hochschild incorporates Congolese mythos around the White Man at that time to speak for the silenced African voices. There are numbers, yes, because those are undeniable, but Hochschild understands that it is not through bolded text and exclamation marks that these points are made–- he makes devastating use of pathos and humanity, narrating the book as if it is an “In Conversation With…” As if he has the utmost faith in his readers to know Right from Wrong, so that he doesn’t yell MURDER IS WRONG every other paragraph.