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Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africaby Jason Stearns
Synopses & Reviews
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.
and#147;Riveting and certain to become essential reading for anyone looking to understand Central Africa.and#8221;and#151;Wall Street Journal
A Best Book of the Year- The Economist and the Wall Street Journal
At the heart of Africa is the Congo, a country the size of Western Europe, bordering nine other nations, that since 1996 has been wracked by a brutal war in which millions have died. In Dancing in the Glory of Monsters, renowned political activist and researcher Jason K. Stearns has written a compelling and deeply-reported narrative of how Congo became a failed state that collapsed into a war of retaliatory massacres. Stearns brilliantly describes the key perpetrators, many of whom he met personally, and highlights the nature of the political system that brought these people to power, as well as the moral decisions with which the war confronted them. Now updated with a new introduction, Dancing in the Glory of Monsters tells the full story of Africaand#8217;s Great War.
and#147;The best account [of the conflict in the Congo] so farand#133;.The task facing anyone who tries to tell this whole story is formidable, but Stearns by and large rises to it.and#8221; and#151;Adam Hochschild, New York Times Book Review
and#147;[A] tour de force, though not for the squeamish.and#8221; and#151;Washington Post
and#147;This is a serious book about the social and political forces behind one of the most violent clashes of modern timesand#151;as well as a damn good read.and#8221; and#151;Economist
and#147;[P]erhaps the best account of the most recent conflict in the Congo.and#8221; and#151;Foreign Policy
and#147;A serious, admirably balanced account of the crisis and the political and social forces behind itand#133; perhaps the most accessible, meticulously researched, and comprehensive overview of the Congo crisis yet.and#8221; and#151;Financial Times
About the Author
Jason Stearns has been working on the conflict in the Congo for the past ten years. In 2008 he was named by the UN Secretary General to lead a special UN investigation into the violence in the country. He has also worked for a Congolese human rights group, for the United Nations peacekeeping operation, and for the International Crisis Group. He is currently completing a PhD at Yale University.
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