Jordan Goodman: The Devil and Mr Casement
2.00 pm, Marchmont Community Centre, 62 Marchmont St, London WC1 (Near Russell Square Tube)
Jordan Goodman will be kick-starting The Socialist History Society’s 2010 talks and events with a discussion about The Devil and Mr. Casement: A Crime Against Humanity.
In September 1910 the activist and anti-imperialist Roger Casement arrived in the Amazon to investigate reports of widespread human-rights abuses in the vast forests stretching along the Putumayo River. There, the Peruvian entrepreneur Julio César Arana ran an area the size of Belgium as his own private fiefdom; his British-registered company operated a systematic programme of torture, exploitation and murder.
Fresh from documenting the scarcely imaginable atrocities perpetrated by King Leopold in the Congo, Casement was confronted with an all-too recognizable scenario. He uncovered an appalling catalogue of abuse: nearly 30,000 Indians had died to produce four thousand tons of rubber.
From the Peruvian rainforests to the City of London, Jordan Goodman recounts a crime against humanity that history has almost forgotten, but whose exposure in 1912 sent shockwaves around the world. Drawing on a wealth of original research, The Devil and Mr Casement is a story of colonial exploitation and corporate greed with enormous contemporary political resonance.