Wrong turns first to Belgian's King Leopold II, who instituted a brutal colonial regime in the Congo in order to extract the natural and mineral wealth for his personal gain. Mobutu, with the aid of a U.S. government determined to sabotage Soviet expansion, stepped easily into Leopold's footsteps, continuing a culture built on government-sanctioned sleaze and theft. Under the circumstances, it's hard not to feel some sympathy for the people who survived in the only ways they could--teachers trading passing grades for groceries, hospitals refusing to let patients leave until they paid up, cassava patches cultivated next to the frighteningly unsafe nuclear reactor. What is less comprehensible--and rightly due for an airing--are Wrong's revelations about foreign interventions. Why, for example, did the World Bank and IMF give Mobutu $9.3 billion in aid, knowing full well that he was pocketing most of it?
In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz is a brilliantly conceived and written work, sharply observant and richly described with a necessary sense of the absurd. Wrong paints a far more nuanced picture of the wily autocrat than we've seen before, and of the blatant greed and paranoia of the many players involved in the country's self-destruction. --Lesley Reed --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Michela Wrong has an unusual ability to inform and entertain and engender compassion all at the same time. Read morePublished 1 month ago by R. Strickler
A fascinating look at a big country and a big man, neither of whom are well understood. Well worth the read!Published 5 months ago by Handukani L Moyo
Outstanding history of the Congo.
Not for the fainthearted as it describes in detail, Belgium's genocide in the Congo, its enslavement of the people and the ugliness of a... Read more
A great read. I have visited various locations in DRC and know other African countries and loved the way the country is depicted. The story is rich with informationPublished 8 months ago by George Muammar
I liked this book because I learned a ot about this part of the world that I knew very little of. I actually think Mobuto was a tragi-comic figure who started out with good... Read morePublished 14 months ago by C. Welch
Reads fluently. I like especially the passage about my friend late Jules Marchal.
He was a good source for her book.
Ms. Wrong provides a well presented and well researched narrative of a period in DRC Congo that many people would like to forget. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Lisl
The Congo basin is the most cruelly raped part of Africa. It and its immediate northern and southern neighbors were the principal source of slaves for the American plantations. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Philip