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Original Essays | September 30, 2014

Benjamin Parzybok: IMG A Brief History of Video Games Played by Mayors, Presidents, and Emperors

Brandon Bartlett, the fictional mayor of Portland in my novel Sherwood Nation, is addicted to playing video games. In a city he's all but lost... Continue »
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1 Burnside Africa- Congo
13 Local Warehouse World History- Africa
7 Remote Warehouse Travel- Africa

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Radio Congo: Signals of Hope from Africa's Deadliest War


Radio Congo: Signals of Hope from Africa's Deadliest War Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

While poring over dust-caked pamphlets in the library, Ben Rawlence stumbles upon the photo of a lost city of colonial Congo--a glistening, modern metropolis built by huge tin mines and European capitalists. Today, that city, Manono, sits beyond the infamous “Triangle of Death,” in an area rarely reached by outsiders since war turned the countrys rivers to blood.

In this compelling debut, Rawlence sets out to gather the news from this ghost town in one of the most dangerous places in the world. Ignoring the advice of locals, reporters, and mercenaries, he travels by foot, motorbike, and canoe, taking his time and meeting the people who are rebuilding their homes with hope, faith, and nervous instinct. We meet Benjamin, the kindly father of the most terrifying Mai Mai warlord; Leya, who happily gives up a good job in Zambia to return to her razed town; Colonel Ibrahim, a guerrilla turned army officer; the Lebanese cousins Mohammed and Mohammed, who oversee the remains of Manonos great mine; the priest Jean-Baptiste, who explains the conjoined prices of beer and normality; and the talk-show host Mama Christine, who dispenses counsel and courage in equal measure.

From the “blood cheese” of Goma to the decaying city of Manono, Rawlence shares the real story of Congo during and after the war, and finds not just a lost city but the seeds of a peaceful future.

About the Author

Ben Rawlence is a senior researcher on Africa for Human Rights Watch. He has written for The Huffington Post, Guardian, Prospect magazine, London Review of Books, and others and contributed to BBC radio. Fluent in Swahili, he received his masters in international relations from the University of Chicago. He travels regularly to London, New York, and Africa as part of his investigative work for Human Rights Watch.

Table of Contents


1. The Lost City

2. “What You Wanna Go There For?”

3. Under the Volcano

4. Meeting the Colonel

5. Guerrillas in the Mist

6. Blood Cheese

7. “The Waves on the Lake Are Not Negligible, My Dear”

8. Outsiders

9. A Fishless Lake

10. The Return, Part I

11. Trouble in the Mulenge Hills

12. The End Is Nigh

13. In Search of Goats and Gold

14. A Cruise on Tanganyika

15. The Intelligence Directors Bath

16. The Forest People

17. “Inhuman”

18. The Guns of Moba

19. My Name is Zongwe

20. The Return, Part II

21. The Lake of Snails

22. Eating the Neighbours

23. Of Pigs, Rabbits, and Popes

24. La route principale

25. Beer and Normality

26. The Bend in the River

27. The Price of Tin

28. Electric Dreams

29. The News from Manono


Illustration Credits

Further Reading, Listening, and Watching


Product Details

Rawlence, Ben
ONEWorld Publications
World History-Africa
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
7.75 x 5.13 in

Related Subjects

Biography » Literary
History and Social Science » Africa » Congo
History and Social Science » World History » Africa
History and Social Science » World History » General
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » General
Travel » Africa » General

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