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Consuming the Congo: War and Conflict Minerals in the World's Deadliest Place Hardcover

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Consuming the Congo: War and Conflict Minerals in the World's Deadliest Place + Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa + King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; First Edition edition (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569763100
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569763100
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #566,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A powerful and long-overdue expose of greed and violence in the battle over Africa’s mineral wealth. . . .  A harrowing and important work that shows yet again that far-flung conflicts touch closer to home that we may imagine."—Greg Campbell, author of Blood Diamonds: Tracing the Deadly Path of the World's Most Precious Stones

"An exceptional book that opens up the complicated and brutal reality of life in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  By explaining and connecting the violence that occurs on the ground to the products it facilitates, Eichstaedt serves up a devastating global insight into the perpetuation of violence in the DRC.” —Sarnata Reynolds, Amnesty International USA

"Eichstaedt provides counterpoint and a glimmer of hope in the form of possible reforms and legislations that could restore order to a devastated region."
Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Peter Eichstaedt is a veteran journalist and author dedicated revealing the stories behind human rights abuses. Formerly senior editor for Uganda Radio Network and Africa editor for the Institute of War and Peace in Reporting in The Hague, Eichstaedt traveled extensively in Africa to cover war crimes and trials. He won the 2010 Colorado Book Award for history for his book First Kill Your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army and is the author of If You Poison Us: Uranium and Native Americans and Pirate State: Inside Somalia’s Terrorism at Sea. He makes his home base near Denver, Colorado, and is currently on assignment in Kabul, Afghanistan.

More About the Author

Since the attacks of 9/11, the United States has steadily ramped up security along the US-Mexico border, transforming America's legendary Southwest into a frontier of fear.

Veteran journalist Peter Eichstaedt roams this fabled region from Tucson, Arizona, to El Paso, Texas, bringing readers face-to-face with the victims, power players, and personalities that have riveted US attention on border security.

By exploring the illicit paths of guns, money, drugs, and people as they flow back and forth across the US-Mexico border, Eichstaedt sheds light on the policies that contribute significantly to violence, abuse, and death -- what most see as only Mexico's problems.

He shares the eye-opening stories of migrants, desperate for work or to be reunited with family, who risk arrest and deportation by attempting to cross multiple times; accompanies the border patrol on a nighttime ride as immigrants are caught, then follows them through the system as they are jailed and deported; talks to humanitarians who are technically breaking the law by transporting lost, dehydrated migrants; and spends time with a Mexican coffee-growing cooperative whose fair-pay ethos eliminates the need for its growers to look to the US for a decent wage.

Presenting humane alternatives to fear and steel fences and offering solutions to the immigration crisis, The Dangerous Divide explores America's tortured relations with Mexico, ultimately focusing on hopeful measures and providing a rational and workable way out of the border and immigration problem.

Eichstaedt is a veteran journalist who has reported from locations worldwide, including Afghanistan, Albania, Somalia, the Sudans, Uganda, Kenya, eastern DR Congo, eastern Europe, and the Caucasus. He attended the University of the Americas in Mexico City and lived and worked as a journalist in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for more than twenty years. From 2010 to 2011 he was the Afghanistan country director for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting in Kabul. He is the author of Above the Din of War, Consuming the Congo, Pirate State, First Kill Your Family, and If You Poison Us.

He lives in Denver, Colorado.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Loves the View VINE VOICE on November 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The author, Peter Eichstaedt is a writer and editor who has worked and traveled in Africa. Here he writes of the eastern Congo, a region being destroyed by an entrenched war the scale of which exceeds any previous conflict by any measure.

The book's chapters are each like their own essay on the various topics such as mining, armies, individual locations, the effects of war on people, the rape epidemic, the minerals themselves, reform proposals and others. There are descriptions of mines, a buying cooperative, a refugee camp, a rape victim's clinic, a trip to Sudan and more.

Some of the story is told through interviews. A wide range of people are interviewed, such as villagers, miners, a Mai-Mai militia commander, a metals middleman (comptoir), women's rape counselors and a victim, refugees, a reform advocate and politicians. There are discussions of the wars' effects on the civilians (worn out), agriculture (disappearing with some exceptions) and wildlife (rapidly disappearing).

There are recurrent themes. The vast mineral wealth is not trickling down to the people. The government is too weak to protect the people and its own soldiers, because they are not paid, find ways to make a living off civilians. The fighting is over the wealth and who runs the mines, but ethnic hatred is a factor as there is a lot of senseless violence.

Reformers propose systems to identify "conflict minerals" will deter buyers. Critics of the system say that European buyers will shun these minerals, but others will not. Critics are also skeptical that those who tag these minerals will not be honest.

There are excellent photos and a good index. The last chapter offers mixed hope for measures that may stem the trade of "conflict metals".
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Cadet on June 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book starts with the Hema-Lendu conflict that was just a short time conflict instigated by Rwandan and Ugandan to give Congolese war an ethnical/tribal aspect.
The author talks about Sudanese conflict that has nothing in common with war/occupation of the D.R.Congo by his neighbors.
The author does his best to clean Rwandan, Ugandan and Burundian armies as well as corporations involved in looting, killings and occupation taking place in the D.R.Congo.
I wonder who funded the author's trips to D.R.Congo and this book. I won't be surprised if I hear that it's one of corporations involved in the destruction of the D.R.Congo.
I am shocked by the way the author condemns activists and other advocacy groups who do their best to help end the occupation of the D.R.Congo by his neighbors as well as the looting of his minerals by these countries and foreign corporations.
I can't recommend this book to anyone because it misleads about the reality of the D.R.Congo.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By George Mason on November 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent review of the Hutu/Tutsi tensions imported to Rwanda and now the Eastern DRC as well as the political alignments that have created the current chaos in the DRC. Great laydown of the causes and players from Paul Kagame (not the rescuer you think he is) to Joseph Kony (read the "Wizard of the Nile"). Also shows just how the competition for resources can destabilize a weak state.
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