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In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz (2001)

de Michela Wrong

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Known as "the Leopard," the president of Zaire for thirty-two years, Mobutu Sese Seko, showed all the cunning of his namesake -- seducing Western powers, buying up the opposition, and dominating his people with a devastating combination of brutality and charm. While the population was pauperized, he plundered the country's copper and diamond resources, downing pink champagne in his jungle palace like some modern-day reincarnation of Joseph Conrad's crazed station manager. Michela Wrong, a correspondent who witnessed Mobutu's last days, traces the rise and fall of the idealistic young journalist who became the stereotype of an African despot. Engrossing, highly readable, and as funny as it is tragic, In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz assesses the acts of the villains and the heroes in this fascinating story of the Democratic Republic of Congo.… (més)
Africa (151)
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» Mira també 8 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 11 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Congo
  oirm42 | May 24, 2018 |
Fast paced and revealing look at how Western interference and internal corruption destroyed Zaire. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
I was in downtown Seoul, getting desperate, as one does in the situation I was in, when salvation came in the shape of a second hand bookshop. Not speaking Korean meant that I quickly ran out of reading options so I usually had to take what I could get and hope for the best.

As it turns out, "In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz" was about as good as I could hope for. Part (sad) history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (or Zaire as it was then) and part reference to the then (no less sad) current events in Mobutu's Zaire, Wrong gets it right (ho ho) in showing, with a wry sense of humour, how dictator Mobutu was able to rule Zaire for so long, and how he managed to fleece so much from the state and from donor countries.

Some countries seem to have no luck and the Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of those countries, from its colonisation by the Belgians and the near-genocidal misrule of King Leopold to Zaire and Mobutu to more recent examples. Does Wrong think there is a ray of positive future for the Congolese? Not really, no. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Feb 4, 2015 |
Incredible-revealing of "the horror, the horror" of Congo's history, political oppression, and also includes great insight and humor into the country due to Michaela's fantastic writing ( )
  Spectra | Dec 27, 2011 |
Whew. A book you read, thinking, I wish this had never happened….please don’t let this be true. So jarring it leaves you despairing about Africa. Surely there must be happy stories there; not all can be tales of greed and corruption. ( )
  debnance | Jan 29, 2010 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 11 (següent | mostra-les totes)
''In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu's Congo.'' ''It was a parody of a functioning state. Here, the anarchy and absurdity that simmered in so many other sub-Saharan nations were taken to their logical extremes.
afegit per mikeg2 | editaNew York Times, Ian Fisher (Jun 10, 2001)
 

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Known as "the Leopard," the president of Zaire for thirty-two years, Mobutu Sese Seko, showed all the cunning of his namesake -- seducing Western powers, buying up the opposition, and dominating his people with a devastating combination of brutality and charm. While the population was pauperized, he plundered the country's copper and diamond resources, downing pink champagne in his jungle palace like some modern-day reincarnation of Joseph Conrad's crazed station manager. Michela Wrong, a correspondent who witnessed Mobutu's last days, traces the rise and fall of the idealistic young journalist who became the stereotype of an African despot. Engrossing, highly readable, and as funny as it is tragic, In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz assesses the acts of the villains and the heroes in this fascinating story of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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