The Democratic Republic of Congo: Between Hope and Despair (African Arguments) Hardcover – 12 Sep 2013
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'Michael Deibert has connected the thousands of threads linking the Democratic Republic of Congo's conflicts in a way that allows us to see the tattered fabric of this tragic country. Deibert writes with verve, clarity, passion, and obvious empathy for all of the peoples of the Great Lakes region, and his understanding of the regional and global contexts of the Congo wars is outstanding. His story-telling ability is unsurpassed, and even veteran observers of the region will be grateful for his marvelously distilled synthesis of the ordeals Congo has endured over the past 20 years.' John F. Clark, author of The Failure of Democracy in the Republic of Congo (2008) 'In this remarkable tour de force of reporting, analysis, historical inquiry, and personal experience, Michael Deibert delivers the story of Congo's bloody recent history in unflinching, often bitingly acerbic prose, setting forth in the clearest terms the causes, perpetrators, and disastrous effects of the seemingly endless Congo wars. Anyone searching for a genuine way forward for Congo needs to read this book.' Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk 'A work of excruciating yet compassionate clarity through the political history and unspeakable violence and suffering of civilians in the lands of the Congo, this book is mandatory reading for anyone interested in building lasting peace in the heart of Africa. International donors who support governance and development in the DRC should pay close attention to Michael Deibert's compelling account.' Markus Schultze-Kraft, Institute of Development Studies 'Michael Deibert's work is the very model of what strong independent journalism can accomplish. His Congo book is no ordinary achievement. It bulges with both the grand sweep of history and a rich variety of voices gathered through enterprising, on the ground reporting.' Howard W. French, author of China's Second Continent: How a Million Migrants are Building a New Empire in Africa 'Michael Deibert's exhaustively researched history of the Congo takes us from the dark days of Belgian conquest and tyranny to the modern day atrocities carried out by warring militias and their legions of child soldiers. The promise driving the madness: abundant natural resources, from gold to diamonds to tantalum. Deibert lays bare complexities of power and he names names, not only those of the Congolese but also of the world leaders who've either turned a blind eye to or directly fomented the misery of the Congolese people.' Gerry Hadden, author of Never The Hope Itself: Love and Ghosts in Latin America and Haiti 'Michael Deibert restores balance to analysis on the Congo with a holistic view grounded in history and the sociopolitical dynamics at play in the nation. A must-read book to understand the complexity of the crisis in the Congo.' Kambale Musavuli, spokesperson for Friends of the Congo 'A comprehensive first-rate account of the tragedy of Congo DR: the human suffering, rape and plunder of its immense mineral wealth. Riveting and brutally honest' George Ayittey, author and president of Free Africa Foundation
About the Author
Michael Deibert is an author and journalist, whose writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald, Le Monde diplomatique and Folha de São Paulo, among other publications. He has been a featured commentator on international affairs for the BBC, Channel 4, Al Jazeera, National Public Radio, WNYC New York Public Radio and KPFK Pacifica Radio. In recent years, Michael has worked to increase and sustain dialogue on international peace-building and development issues, with a particular focus on Africa and Latin America. He is the author of Notes from the Last Testament: The Struggle for Haiti (2005).
Top customer reviews
An excellent, in-depth and insightful sweeping history of the DRC. Some familiarity with the region's history, particularly that of Rwanda would be useful but by no means a compulsory requirement. It is not a light read and quite easy to get tangled up - this is by no means criticism of the writing, simply indicative of switching allegiances, shaky peace agreements and (as always) a plethora of acronyms. At times, it lacks a certain human element (there is little attention on the agency of the Congolese themselves - or reflection on their perspectives of the conflict), with attention focusing almost entirely on the politics, economics and militarization of life. Overall, an authoritative text and recommended for a deeper understanding of the issues affecting the DRC today.
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