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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A challenging read but the rewards are well worth the effort, October 21, 2013
By 
David Doherty (Olney, Maryland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Democratic Republic of Congo: Between Hope and Despair (African Arguments) (Paperback)
Michael Deibert has undertaken the gargantuan task of unraveling the tangled web of players and perpetrators in the DRC. There is one constant throughout the shifting alliances and rhetoric detailed in this book: lust for control and money always trumps the most basic right to life. Unlike many conflicts of this nature, the Congolese people are not pawns in this vicious game; they are incidental and disposable which makes the crime even more profound and evil.
Mr. Deibert does not make an emotional appeal to his readers. Rather he forces you to confront meticulously detailed (and footnoted) facts. As a primer, he provides a brief history of the DRC that sets the stage for what has become one of the largest killing fields in the world. Ground truth exposes that all the key players in the never-ending "peace process" either have a vested interest in promoting conflict or lack interest in dealing with the true causes of the suffering. The United Nations, ICC and the Clinton administration are shown to have lacked any conviction or moral compass. Each of these groups function in the murky shadows of political expedience and demonstrate their mastery of giving the appearance of doing something when actually doing nothing (or worse). Museveni, Kabila and Kagame waver between competition and collaboration in an effort to gain control over valuable swaths of the DRC's abundant natural resources. The covers are finally pulled back on the lie that is Paul Kagame. He is neither democratic nor morally grounded. Like so many despots in the developing world, he has packaged his particular brand of evil in a persona that appeals to the more shallow senses and sensibilities of the United States and European countries.
The story of the oxymoronically-named Democratic Republic of the Congo needs to be told; it needs to be heard; it needs to motivate us to act. Mr. Deibert has made many of the gruesome details and history of this country accessible to us. The victims now have a voice.
As a secondary comment, Mr Deibert touches on how Belgium established the foundation for human rights abuses that have become the norm in the DRC. Upon finishing his book, I would encourage the interested reader to pick up a copy of Adam Hochschild's "King Leopold's Ghost" for a more comprehensive overview of the Belgian "contributions" to the DRC.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Could Be About Anywhere, August 24, 2014
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This review is from: The Democratic Republic of Congo: Between Hope and Despair (African Arguments) (Paperback)
Michael Deibert does the nearly impossible task of clearly defining the players and their roles in the history of the Democratic Republic of Congo from the days prior to Belgian rule up to 2013. This feat alone is highly impressive. For the unfamiliar, it proves to be a bit difficult keeping track of who's in conflict with whom, but it definitely accomplishes the overall goal of explaining one of our generation's greatly overlooked (in the West) tragedies. What I took away from this book is a story that could be told about any place in the world - a brutal struggle for power and control of wealth and resources, with those blessed to dwell in such lands finding their blessings to be a curse at the hands of those who foster the worst in mankind (the greedy). I highly recommend this book for anyone with an interest in Africa, or anyone with an interest in a clear case study in greed and those who suffer as a result of it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read to understand DRC, March 29, 2014
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This review is from: The Democratic Republic of Congo: Between Hope and Despair (African Arguments) (Paperback)
This is The best book I have read that explains the complexities of DRC's history and current state. A must read.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Book About Congo!, November 13, 2013
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This review is from: The Democratic Republic of Congo: Between Hope and Despair (African Arguments) (Paperback)
I just finished reading The Democratic Republic of Congo: Between Hope and Despair, and found it to be an excellent account of the complexities of the war(s) in Congo. I have become involved in mission work in the Kasai over the past few years, making several trips to Congo. I have attempted to educate myself on the history of Congo, and came away with lots of questions. I found that this book was very effective in answering those questions.

By the way, I don't believe a better photo could have been used for the cover. On my first trip to Congo, I had the opportunity to attend a rehearsal of the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste, and there is little doubt that it is a symbol of hope in a very difficult place.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, October 19, 2014
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very good interesting read
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential read, December 9, 2013
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Not only will this book assist you in gaining an understanding of the scope and intricacy of strife in the Congo, it will provide you with the knowledge to see through the self-serving statements made by politicians on every side. You will also be reminded that many people have the capacity for horrific crimes, or for the blanket approval of those crimes. Ultimately, you will be in awe of the human capacity for survival. Throughout, Michael Deibert invites you to savor the warm winds and lush countryside. His words will spark your imagination even as you learn about man's inhumanity. We should all be very grateful to this intrepid journalist and author. He dares to delve into a complex and dangerous region to bring us important facts and perspective.
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The Democratic Republic of Congo: Between Hope and Despair (African Arguments)
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