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Publisher's Summary

At the heart of Africa is Congo, a country the size of Western Europe, bordering nine other nations, that since 1996 has been wracked by a brutal and unstaunchable war in which millions have died. And yet, despite its epic proportions, it has received little sustained media attention.
In this deeply reported book, Jason K. Stearns vividly tells the story of this misunderstood conflict through the experiences of those who engineered and perpetrated it. He depicts village pastors who survived massacres, the child soldier assassin of President Kabila, a female Hutu activist who relives the hunting and methodical extermination of fellow refugees, and key architects of the war that became as great a disaster as - and was a direct consequence of - the genocide in neighboring Rwanda.
Through their stories, he tries to understand why such mass violence made sense, and why stability has been so elusive. Through their voices, and an astonishing wealth of knowledge and research, Stearns chronicles the political, social, and moral decay of the Congolese State.
©2011 Jason K. Stearns (P)2017 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

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4 out of 5 stars
By Valerie Dawn Hochstetler on 02-01-18

Understanding What I Have Been Living In

I have spent the past 27 years in Central Africa. As I listened to this book, I remembered where my family and I were during many of the conflicts. We were fortunate, we could leave when life got bad. This really helped to see the big picture as Mobutu lost power, Laurent Kabila came to power, and now Joseph Kabila reigns. Oh that Congo could find a true solution to all the complicated problems! Jason Stearns has done a great job of wading through and explaining. Mike Chamberlain could have used some advice on pronunciation of different regions and cities, otherwise he sounds like a news reporter all the way through.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Erick on 01-23-18

Great analysis of events

I’ve been interested in the situation in Congo for quite some time. This story covers all the bases and does a great job of explaining this complex and delicate subject. I highly recommend to anyone.

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