Book Reviews

February 2011
The Congo From Leopold to Kabila: APeople's History by Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja
Dr. Georges Nzongola Ntalaja's book "The Congo From Leopold to Kabila" is a seminal historical overview of modern Congo dating from the Berlin Conference of 1885 to the overthrow of Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997, the brief tenure of Laurent Desire Kabila and the beginning of Joseph Kabila's reign in 2001 pursuant to the assassination of his father.

The book is certainly the authoritative English rendition of the democratic and social justice movements in the Congo since colonial times to the present. Dr. Nzongola turns on its head the conventional myth that Congolese have been passive victims of a tragic history. To the contrary, Dr Nzongola's telling of the people's history of the Congo much in the vein of Howard Zinn documents Congolese as agents of change fighting against enormous domestic and foreign forces to create democratic space in the heart of Africa. He introduces the English speaking audience to Congolese social movements and the figures who inspired them - from Simon Kimbangu to Patrice Lumumba, Pierre Mulele, Etienne Tshisekedi and numerous other freedom fighters.

The Congo From Leopold to Kabila is essential reading for newcomers trying to understand the historical context of the current challenges faced by the Congolese people.

January 2011
The Assassination of Lumumba by Ludo Dewitte
Friends of the Congo has chosen The Assassination of Lumumba by Ludo DeWitte as the book of the month for January 2011. Kambale Musavuli, spokesperson of FOTC said "When I first read the book, I had chills right after I finished the introduction section of the book. As a Congolese young activist, I realized how misinformed I was on what caused the death of my country’s first democratically elected Prime Minister, Patrice Emery Lumumba."