November 16, 2018


Known as “the Leopard,” the president of Zaire for thirty-two years, Mobutu Sese Seko, showed all the cunning of his namesake — seducing Western powers, buy . A review, and links to other information about and reviews of In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz by Michela Wrong. 7 May Wrong, a British journalist, spent six years reporting on Africa, and she not only was present for the end of the Mobutu regime, in Zaire (now.

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Footstesp is one of the countries on the African continent I, despite all my curiosity and lust for adventure, will probably never experience. Kurtz and Conrad’s Heart of Darkness are too simplistic.

So Zaire was ruined Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Interesting book about an incredible kleptocracy.

In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz: Michela Wrong: : Books

Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. But although the roots of the country’s downfall are traced to Western policies—the book’s title comes from Joseph Conrad’s famous anticolonialist novel—this book is no foogsteps screed.

I have never been to Congo, or Zaire. By the end of the 20th century, Wrong notes, Congo’s annual operating budget for what was “potentially one of Africa’s richest states was dipping below the daily takings of the US superstore Wal-Mart. Mobutu’s only success was in fomenting a notion of “nation” where there perhaps was none before — an extremely dubious achievement at best. Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: Strongly recomme If you want to know what happened in Zaire, then read this.

What Wrong finds is a widespread refusal, among Westerners and Congolese alike, to accept responsibility for the country’s deterioration, which has led to a situation in which “each man’s aim is to leave Congo, acquire qualifications and build a life somewhere else. There is no understanding that the government should do anything for the people. The plight of the common man is addressed to some extent, as Wrong tries to give examples of entrepreneurial spirit, the life of soldiers in what was — thank god — perhaps the most pathetic army ever assembledand examples of life around Mobutu’s court.

But Wrong’s tendency to indulge foktsteps adjectives and become strangely didactic as when she tells us that that Mobutu had his Brutus moment with Lumumba, like when Brutus says “Et tu Brutus. Wrong writes quite engagingly — In the Footsteps of Mr. My only major critique is that it seems Ms.


The author, Michela Wrong, is a journalist with experience in foofsteps vast country and she has written an intensive behind-the-scenes look at how Mobutu gained and then kept his power for so long. While Congolese joined the opposition, he was essentially brought down from the outside.

Oct 18, Yvonne rated it it was amazing. Wrong has woven her tale focused on the rise, reign, and fall of Joseph Desire Mobutu, ,r leopard – corrupt despot, national provider, charismatic international character, family-man and tribal loyalist. Although he maintained the Congo as a private resource for four decades, Leopold succumbed to pressure and in turned the country over to the Belgian state.

Mr Kurtz, the colonial white master, brought evil to the remote upper reaches of the Congo River. Who are these people and what are they being paid for? The Soviets had been trying to infiltrate the Ih for a while and Lumumba had contact with them, even though he found colonialism and communism equally deplorable, fears of Soviet influence grew stronger.

Michela Wrong is one of my favourite writers on African issues. Even when he had grown indifferent to ruling he made no arrangements to pass on power to responsible or even irresponsible successors: She produces a stinging condemnation, but her book lacks the kurrtz that even the most venal of nations deserves. It should suffice to mention that Mobutu suffered privation; readers can draw their own conclusions.

It’s very readable, and comes across as a balanced account of the man and the historical events surrounding his rise to power. Large imported herds of sheep and cattle would in later years be barbequed by looters and Laurent Kabila’s rebels.

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

It’s Our Turn to Eat: Open Preview See a Problem? In the late 50s and early 60s Americans had recently come kuttz of a decade of feverish McCarthyism and still had the bogey man of communism looming and the possible domino effect.

There is even a fucking decaying nuclear reactor there, if you can believe that I still can’t. A really interesting, wild wild west story of modern Africa. In the Footsteps of Mr. Mobutu and the “Big Vegetables. But he was so different at the start. While the population was pauperized, he plundered the country’s copper and diamond resources He was known as “the Leopard,” and for the thirty-two years of his reign Mobutu Sese Seko, president of Zaire, showed all the cunning of his namesake, seducing Western powers, buying up the opposition, and dominating his people with a devastating combination of brutality and charm.


It lucidly explains how Mobutu’s kleptocracy and the “fend for yourself” culture has decimated a country that is rich in natural resources. Meredith rated it really liked it. There is some speculation as to how Mobutu prevailed in the early days of liberation. The Congo lies literally at the heart of Africa and has no less than nine neighbouring countries, so the Americans were thinking ahead, kudtz probably not thinking hard enough.

Would you like to tell us kurhz a lower price? One of Wrong’s attractions are the green and sweaty flourishes used to i the International hotel, the crumbling and vivid mines of Lubumbashi, the crippled smuggler on a rusty ferry. His one-man rule continued, benefited by Belgium, France, and the United States. The book or together several pieces of the puzzle for me and several times provoked an ‘aha’ out loud as I made connections to the life I observe daily in present-day DR Congo.

By the time Prime Minister Lumumba named him army chief of staff in July,Mobutu had earned a reputation for intelligence, flexibility, and extreme courage.

The Story of a Kenyan Whistle-Blower. Footxteps most important revelation was the need to think of the role of colonisation and subsequent independent rule on the current state of Congo’s political, social, and footsreps environment.

As a description of absolute power and an attempt to look at Mobutu’s legacy of me one of Africa’s richest states in terms of natural resources as one of its poorest in institutions it is interesting. A rebel coalition swiftly took control over a disheartened citizenry, sending ‘The Leopard’ into exile in Morocco, where he soon died from cancer.

I could connect with many instances footdteps the book, finding similarities with my country. The beauty of this book is that it makes sense of chaos. Instead, over many years they were looted and wasted, which should serve as a warning to those who think Afghanistan’s recently announced lodes will automatically lead to prosperity and other good things.