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Congo. A history

Based on hundreds of oral history interviews

There is hardly a more troubled nation at the beginning of the twenty-first century than Congo, the giant country in the heart of Africa, bursting with resources indispensable in our modern age – as well as horrific conflicts. How could Belgium’s former, relatively peaceful colony, independent since 1960, change so much?”


David Van Reybrouck describes the bewildering history of Congo, from well before the arrival of the explorer Stanley to the influence of China in the last decade and the recent economic crisis. Van Reybrouck draws not only on rare archival material and groundbreaking research, but above all on hundreds of oral history interviews he conducted with Congolese people. His eyewitnesses range from centenarians to child soldiers, from rebel leaders to smugglers, from ministers to cassava sellers. Their stories the author has integrated into his great history.


More information on the book and David van Reybrouck can be found here