Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa

4.6 5
by Jason K. Stearns
     
 

ISBN-10: 1586489291

ISBN-13: 9781586489298

Pub. Date: 03/29/2011

Publisher: PublicAffairs

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 Stearns vividly tells the story of this

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Overview

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 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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781586489298
Publisher:
PublicAffairs
Publication date:
03/29/2011
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
682,399
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Acronyms xi

Maps xiii

Introduction: Understanding the Violence 3

Part I Prewar

Chapter 1 The Legacy of Genocide 13

Chapter 2 Aiding and Abetting 33

Chapter 3 A Country in Ruins 45

Chapter 4 Six Days 57

Chapter 5 Onion Layers 69

Chapter 6 Mzee 81

Part II The First War

Chapter 7 Many Wars in One 93

Chapter 8 The Dominoes Fall 109

Chapter 9 A Thousand Miles Through the Jungle 127

Chapter 10 This Is How You Fight 143

Chapter 11 A Wounded Leopard 153

Chapter 12 The King Is Dead; Long Live the King 163

Part III The Second War

Chapter 13 One War Too Many 181

Chapter 14 The Rebel Professor 201

Chapter 15 The Rebel Start-Up 217

Chapter 16 Cain and Abel 235

Chapter 17 Sorcerers' Apprentices 249

Chapter 18 The Assassination of Mzee 267

Chapter 19 Paying for the War 285

Part IV Neither War Nor Peace

Chapter 20 The Bearer of Eggs 307

Conclusion: The Congo, On Its Own Terms 327

Notes 339

Index 367

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Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
philram More than 1 year ago
Well paced, detailed but not overly pedantic, good illustrations of lives ranging from political figures to child soldiers. Wish I had it on my reading list from War College.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dave_Donelson More than 1 year ago
If you want to understand the tragedy that is the Congo, put aside the mythology and read Dancing In The Glory of Monsters. Jason Stearns has untangled the snarling mess that is the history of this sad nation. As someone who's researched and written about the Congo myself (Heart Of Diamonds: A novel of scandal, love, and death in the Congo), I found new insights into the interminable conflicts that have wracked the country for it's entire modern history. Stearns delineates the players, putting them into context and showing how they interacted to make the Congo what it is today. He clearly explains the role of Rwanda's Paul Kagame and other outsiders in the turmoil, but also delineates the power hunger and shortcomings of the Congo's own leaders, including current President Joseph Kabila. Most importantly, Stearns demonstrates that there is no one single cause of the Congo's troubles. He calmly shows how tribal rivalries fuel the strife just as much as the struggle to control the country's mineral wealth. He explains how the internal politics of Zimbabwe, Uganda, Angola, and other countries in addition to Rwanda led to their deep involvement in the DRC's wars. While he rightfully deplores the epidemic of rape in the Congo, he puts it in context and doesn't dwell on it--not because it's not important, but because there's more to the story. I found it refreshing that Stearns resists the impulse to blame rapacious multinational corporations for much of anything except trying to find a way to do business in the Congo. He doesn't ignore the many shortcomings of most of the deals to exploit the Congo's riches, but correctly points out that most of them were struck by Congolese leaders eager to fund their own ambitions. He leaves the conspiracy theories to other, less informed writers. Dancing In The Glory Of Monsters is an objective, clear-eyed look at one of the greatest ongoing tragedies in modern history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the book when I was flying on a international flight.