Blogging the Bookshelf

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Entries Tagged as 'Congo'

Lumumba – “The Origins of AIDS”  – Jacques Pepin

January 14th, 2012 · Comments Off on Lumumba – “The Origins of AIDS”  – Jacques Pepin · Africa, Colonialism, Communism, Congo, Democracy, History, Policy, Politics

In September 1960, Lumumba was dismissed by Kasavubu, and in turn Lumumba dismissed Kasavubu. The constitution did not allow for either of these moves. After a few days of confusion, Lumumba was definitively overthrown in a bloodless military coup led by the very person he had just appointed head of the army, colonel Mobutu. Lumumba’s […]

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Nos Noirs – “The Origins of AIDS”  – Jacques Pepin

January 13th, 2012 · Comments Off on Nos Noirs – “The Origins of AIDS”  – Jacques Pepin · Africa, Colonialism, Congo, History

Fifty years later, it is astonishing to read some of the colonial and early post-colonial writings about the Belgian Congo which is described as ‘our Congo’ or its inhabitants as Nos Noirs, our blacks.

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Highly Motivated Missionaries – “The Origins of AIDS”  – Jacques Pepin

January 13th, 2012 · Comments Off on Highly Motivated Missionaries – “The Origins of AIDS”  – Jacques Pepin · Africa, Christianity, Colonialism, Congo, History, Religion

The other important protagonist in the early history of the Congo Français was Prosper Augouard. Born in 1852, ordained in the congregation of the Holy Spirit, he arrived in Gabon in 1877. Missionaries of the time had to be highly motivated for their life expectancy in Africa was just three years. Augouard was more robust […]

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Brazzaville – “The Origins of AIDS”  – Jacques Pepin

January 12th, 2012 · Comments Off on Brazzaville – “The Origins of AIDS”  – Jacques Pepin · Africa, Colonialism, Congo, History

Brazza signed a treaty with a chief on the north side of the river, and planted the French flag. The chief could not read French and did not realise that he had conceded a large piece of land to France rather than merely getting some kind of protection and trading rights. Meanwhile, on the south […]

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The Ragged Human Edges of Conflict – “Dancing in the Glory of Monsters”, Jason Stearns

August 22nd, 2011 · Comments Off on The Ragged Human Edges of Conflict – “Dancing in the Glory of Monsters”, Jason Stearns · Africa, Congo, Journalism, War

The Congo war had no one cause, no clear conceptual essence that can be easily distilled in a couple of paragraphs. Like an ancient Greek epic, it is a mess of different narrative strands—some heroic, some venal, all combined in a narrative that is not straightforward but layered, shifting, and incomplete. It is not a […]

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Institutional Problems – “Dancing in the Glory of Monsters”, Jason Stearns

August 22nd, 2011 · Comments Off on Institutional Problems – “Dancing in the Glory of Monsters”, Jason Stearns · Africa, Congo, Culture, Democracy, Politics

A central reason, therefore, for the lack of visionary leadership in the Congo is because its political system rewards ruthless behavior and marginalizes scrupulous leaders. It privileges loyalty over competence, wealth and power over moral character. Well-intentioned (albeit misguided) leaders like Wamba dia Wamba are spun to the outside of this centrifuge, while the more […]

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Change Starts With Understanding Power – “Dancing in the Glory of Monsters”, Jason Stearns

August 21st, 2011 · Comments Off on Change Starts With Understanding Power – “Dancing in the Glory of Monsters”, Jason Stearns · Africa, Congo, Culture, Means and Ends, Political Communication, Politics, Power

These advocacy efforts have also, however, had unintended effects. They reinforce the impression that the Congo is filled with wanton savages, crazed by power and greed. This view, by focusing on the utter horror of the violence, distracts from the politics that gave rise to the conflict and from the reasons behind the bloodshed. If […]

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A Proxy War – “Dancing in the Glory of Monsters”, Jason Stearns

August 21st, 2011 · Comments Off on A Proxy War – “Dancing in the Glory of Monsters”, Jason Stearns · Africa, Congo, War

The Rwandan, Ugandan, and Congolese proxies eventually ran amok, wreaking havoc. These fractious movements had not been formed organically, did not have to answer to a popular base—after all, they had been given their weapons by an outside power—and often had little interest other than surviving and accumulating resources. The dynamic bore a resemblance to […]

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Ethnicity as an Institution – “Dancing in the Glory of Monsters”, Jason Stearns

August 20th, 2011 · Comments Off on Ethnicity as an Institution – “Dancing in the Glory of Monsters”, Jason Stearns · Africa, Colonialism, Congo, Culture, Ethnicity, History, Politics

If the fiercest ideology or ethics that can be found in the country is ethnic, that is because no other institution has been strong enough for the people to rally around. Unfortunately, ethnic mobilization is usually exclusive in nature and does not form an equitable or truly democratic basis for the distribution of state resources; […]

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The Wise Advisor – “Dancing in the Glory of Monsters”, Jason Stearns

August 20th, 2011 · Comments Off on The Wise Advisor – “Dancing in the Glory of Monsters”, Jason Stearns · Africa, Congo, Politics, Power, Rwanda

The cacophony became so bad that Vice President Kagame had to intervene on several occasions. Once he convened the leadership in Kigali and told them an anecdote about a king. “The monarch had a wonderful advisor who saved him many times,” he told his audience. “As a reward, one day he told his advisor that […]

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