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Selected publications

The Duncan Society and its members publish widely on public health issues in Liverpool and beyond.  Please see below for a list of selected publications from our members and affiliates.  If you have any questions or would like to order a book, please contact us.

The pool of life: a public health walk in Liverpool
Maggi Morris and John Ashton

This unique publication is an illustrated history of public health in Liverpool, arranged as four guided walks around the city.  Learn about the people, places and institutions that have put Liverpool at the forefront of public health for over 150 years.

Health in our time? The William Henry Duncan Memorial Lectures
Introduced by John Ashton

In 1983 the University of Liverpool established the annual Duncan Memorial Lecture to increase recognition of the work of Duncan and of Liverpool's important public health heritage.  All of the speakers are experts in their respective fields of medical and environmental health, and their chosen topics reflect contemporary public health concerns, many of which Duncan would have been familiar with.  This volume contains lectures ranging from Sir Donald Acheson on the state of the public health to Jonathon Porritt on Gaia and Health.

The Dark Side of Sunlight: The story of King Leopold, Lord Leverhulme and The Congo
David Hollett

With a great deal of political manoeuvring, and the able assistance of the famous explorer, Sir Henry Morton Stanley, in 1885 King Leopold II of Belgium founded the Congo 'Free' State. However, this was not as a Belgian colony, but as his own private domain which extended to 905,000 square miles of Central Africa. Leopold then set up a system of forced labour under which millions suffered and died due to brutal treatment, exhaustion, hunger or disease. Eventually, in 1908, the Belgian government took control of the Congo away from Leopold and the worst excesses of his despotic rule came to an end. However the forced labour system established by Leopold remained largely in place. It is against this historical background that Lever Brothers, the soap manufacturers of Port Sunlight, became significantly involved in the affairs of the Congo. In 1911 the Belgian Government offered the company land "Concessions" to develop as oil palm plantations. A decade later William Hesketh Lever was controlling vast palm plantations, oil mills and a fleet of 74 steam vessels on the Congo River. In 1930 the firm was employing no less than 28,000 Congolese workers. The rise and rise of Lever Brothers wealth and good fortune was to continue, throughout the Congo and West Africa in general.

Bamonimambo (The Witnesses) Rediscovering Congo & British Isles Common History
Norbert X Mbu-Mputu and Deo Katya Kasereka

A century ago, there was a strong link between Wales and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Congo was explored by Sir Henry Morton Stanley, Pastor William Hughes came back from Congo with 3 boys and started in Colwyn Bay (North Wales) the Congo and African training Institute of Wales and, living at hawardeen, in Wales, Edmond Dene Morel started the first human right movement "The Congo Reform Association" against King leopold II atrocities in Congo. This book, for the "Bamonimambo (the witnesses): Congo & Wales Roots and Routes" is telling those stories and try to think about the new links between the now Wales and Congo, via the Congolese Diaspora living in Wales and Britain.