In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in the

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Harper Collins, 2009 M10 13 - 368 pages
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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, buying up the opposition, and dominating his people with a devastating combination of brutality and charm. While the population was pauperized, he plundered the country's copper and diamond resources, downing pink champagne in his jungle palace like some modern-day reincarnation of Joseph Conrad's crazed station manager.

Michela Wrong, a correspondent who witnessed Mobutu's last days, traces the rise and fall of the idealistic young journalist who became the stereotype of an African despot. Engrossing, highly readable, and as funny as it is tragic, In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz assesses the acts of the villains and the heroes in this fascinating story of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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User Review  - kaitanya64 - LibraryThing

Fast paced and revealing look at how Western interference and internal corruption destroyed Zaire. Read full review

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User Review  - MiaCulpa - LibraryThing

I was in downtown Seoul, getting desperate, as one does in the situation I was in, when salvation came in the shape of a second hand bookshop. Not speaking Korean meant that I quickly ran out of ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Michela Wrong has worked as a foreign correspondent for Reuters, the BBC, and the Financial Times. She has written about Africa for Slate.com and is a frequent commentator on African affairs in the media. Her first book, In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz, won the James Stern Silver Pen Award for Nonfiction. She lives in London.

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