IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF MR KURTZ PDF

Very enthusiastic From the Reviews: "The Mobutu story is told with wry wit and a delicious sense of irony, and more than a little respect for the man himself. Though Ms Wrong glories in the grotesque world that Mobutu created, she also makes a serious attempt to find out how and why this great theft of an entire state was allowed to happen. If her affection for the people of the Congo is real, she does not shirk judgment. Much of the story has already been told, but rarely with such a combination of powerful anecdote, fine research, mesmerizing reportage, and subtle understanding. Composed primarily of a series of often chilling vignettes, the book allows readers to feel for themselves the experiences of this haunted country. Rare for a book about Africa, it is without moral superiority or preachiness, and often turns the tables on the west by showing how it built up Mobutu as an anti-communist hero of the cold war.

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Apr 01, Dan rated it liked it In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz is part biography and part historical book on Mobutus reign in Zaire from the 60s to 90s. The author, Michela Wrong, is not a historian but a foreign correspondent. Close to the heart of the dictatorship, she knows the situation well, because she lived in Zaire and Kinshasa for six years during Mobutus reign and overthrow.

In the early chapters, there is a lackluster attempt by the author to provide background history on the Congo region. The atrocities committed by In the Footsteps of Mr. I would say that the author would have been better off skipping these chapters as her strength is not as a historian.

These events should have been a dramatic scene in the book but were not emphasized enough in my opinion. I have no regrets in reading the book but at times it was a slog. Somewhere between 3 and 4 stars The sketch she gives of Mobutu can be gleaned from the press of the time, but the travelogue and commentary may be unique. Wrong shows how the brutality of the Belgians working literally for King Leopold this was Kings personal colony, and not that of Belgium created the society that made Mobutu possible.

There is some speculation as to how Mobutu prevailed in the early days of liberation. I got a new perspective on the Mobutu-Lumumba relationship. Mobutu is said to be charming hard to imagine and clever undoubtedly so.

Their lavish lifestyles are described: cars, homes; hotels, travel and party life. There is no understanding that the government should do anything for the people. All the outside money loans which the poor who could not flee will eventually have to pay goes to the top. Most of the photos show a theme of the book which is how the enterprising Congolese make a living hustling over nothing. In the midst of the poverty and chaos, many turn to religion and there is a profile of a Kimbangu a large and well supported sect that believes God is a black man.

Some young people embrace "sapeur" which seems to be a way for young people to feel beautiful. You learn of Article 15 where the disabled can use transport free, and there are many disabled.

There is an interview of a once idealistic European couple who seem to have lost millions in trying to farm after the Belgians left. You learn how he did not grasp the post-Soviet world.

When opportunities opened up elsewhere, fair weather friends deserted him. The army that he paid only erratically behaved in kind.

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In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu's Congo

Apr 01, Dan rated it liked it In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz is part biography and part historical book on Mobutus reign in Zaire from the 60s to 90s. The author, Michela Wrong, is not a historian but a foreign correspondent. Close to the heart of the dictatorship, she knows the situation well, because she lived in Zaire and Kinshasa for six years during Mobutus reign and overthrow. In the early chapters, there is a lackluster attempt by the author to provide background history on the Congo region. The atrocities committed by In the Footsteps of Mr. I would say that the author would have been better off skipping these chapters as her strength is not as a historian.

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In The Footsteps of Mr Kurtz

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