History in black and white
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: March 7th, 2011
[Review of] RHODES: The Race for Africa by Antony Thomas, BBC Books. The book is ... intelligent, detailed, well-researched and credibly nuanced. The book's aim is to kill off once and for all the public-schoolboy perception of [Cecil] Rhodes as the model Englishman who selflessly deployed his vast diamond wealth to the task of civilising Southern Africa while adding, virtually single-handedly, a chunk of territory the size of Europe to Her Majesty's imperial possessions. The picture that persuasively emerges in the book [is] of a man of immense charm and demonic single-mindedness. Rhodes ... tailored his rhetoric to suit an age when lust for acquisition had to be dressed in the garb of moral rectitude. Thus the famous lines from his precocious personal credo, drafted at the age of 23: "I contend that we are the finest race in the world, and the more of the world we inhabit, the better it is for the human race." Business ... was the medium he employed to pursue personal power. He beat his rivals not by fighting them but by seducing them. By bribery (Rhodes coined the expression "every man has his price") or sheer force of personality, or more often both, he submitted members of the British cabinet, Kruger's Boers and proud African chieftains to his colossal will. Such were his powers of persuasion that after a smallpox epidemic struck Kimberley in 1883, he prevailed upon local doctors to sign false documents declaring the outbreak to be a rare skin disease. Thus did he prevent the temporary closure of his diamond mines and thus did at least 751 people needlessly, hideously die. By the end of the book Thomas leaves us in no doubt as to Rhodes' greatness, but he concludes that it was a misdirected greatness, a story of talents squandered and opportunities lost.
Note: Often portrayed in history books as one of the most influential men of the 19th century, Rhodes not only believed his was the superior race, in his will he advocated "for the establishment, promotion and development of a Secret Society, the true aim and object whereof shall be for the extension of British rule throughout the world." For major media reports revealing other secret societies with similar aims, click here. For more information on Rhodes and secret societies from Caroll Quigley's epic Tragedy and Hope, click here.