Popular Central Africa Books

15+ [Hand Picked] Popular Books On Central Africa

Discover the list of some best books written on Central Africa by popular award winning authors. These book on topic Central Africa highly popular among the readers worldwide.

4.5/5

King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild

In the 1880s, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold II of Belgium seized for himself the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. Carrying out a genocidal plundering of the Congo, he looted its rubber, brutalized its people, and ultimately slashed its population by ten million--all the while shrewdly cultivating his reputation In the 1880s, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold II of Belgium seized for himself the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. Carrying out a genocidal plundering of the Congo, he looted its rubber, brutalized its people, and ultimately slashed its population by ten million--all the while shrewdly cultivating his reputation as a great humanitarian. Heroic efforts to expose these crimes eventually led to the first great human rights movement of the twentieth century, in which everyone from Mark Twain to the Archbishop of Canterbury participated. King Leopold's Ghost is the haunting account of a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions, a man as cunning, charming, and cruel as any of the great Shakespearean villains. It is also the deeply moving portrait of those who fought Leopold: a brave handful of missionaries, travelers, and young idealists who went to Africa for work or adventure and unexpectedly found themselves witnesses to a holocaust. Adam Hochschild brings this largely untold story alive with the wit and skill of a Barbara Tuchman. Like her, he knows that history often provides a far richer cast of characters than any novelist could invent. Chief among them is Edmund Morel, a young British shipping agent who went on to lead the international crusade against Leopold. Another hero of this tale, the Irish patriot Roger Casement, ended his life on a London gallows. Two courageous black Americans, George Washington Williams and William Sheppard, risked much to bring evidence of the Congo atrocities to the outside world. Sailing into the middle of the story was a young Congo River steamboat officer named Joseph Conrad. And looming above them all, the duplicitous billionaire King Leopold II. With great power and compassion, King Leopold's Ghost will brand the tragedy of the Congo--too long forgotten--onto the conscience of the West

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5/5

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Dark allegory describes the narrator's journey up the Congo River and his meeting with, and fascination by, Mr. Kurtz, a mysterious personage who dominates the unruly inhabitants of the region. Masterly blend of adventure, character development, psychological penetration. Considered by many Conrad's finest, most enigmatic story.

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4.4/5

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa by Jason Stearns

At the heart of Africa is Congo, a country the size of Western Europe, bordering nine other nations, that since 1996 has been wracked by a brutal and unstaunchable war in which millions have died. And yet, despite its epic proportions, it has received little sustained media attention. In this deeply reported book, Jason Stearns vividly tells the story of this misunderstood At the heart of Africa is Congo, a country the size of Western Europe, bordering nine other nations, that since 1996 has been wracked by a brutal and unstaunchable war in which millions have died. And yet, despite its epic proportions, it has received little sustained media attention. In this deeply reported book, Jason Stearns vividly tells the story of this misunderstood conflict through the experiences of those who engineered and perpetrated it. He depicts village pastors who survived massacres, the child soldier assassin of President Kabila, a female Hutu activist who relives the hunting and methodical extermination of fellow refugees, and key architects of the war that became as great a disaster as--and was a direct consequence of--the genocide in neighboring Rwanda. Through their stories, he tries to understand why such mass violence made sense, and why stability has been so elusive. Through their voices, and an astonishing wealth of knowledge and research, Stearns chronicles the political, social, and moral decay of the Congolese State.

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3.9/5

A Bend in the River by V.S. Naipaul

When Salim, a young Indian man, is offered a small business in Central Africa, he accepts. As he strives to establish himself, he becomes closely involved with the fluid and dangerous politics of the newly-dependent state.

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5/5

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it -- from garden seeds to Scripture -- is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it -- from garden seeds to Scripture -- is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.

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4.5/5

Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila , Roland Glasser (Translator)

In an African city in secession, which could be Kinshasa or Lubumbashi, land tourists of all languages and nationalities. They have only one desire: to make a fortune by exploiting the mineral wealths of the country. They work during the day in mining concession and, as soon as night falls, they go out to get drunk, dance, eat and abandon themselves in Tram 83, the only ni In an African city in secession, which could be Kinshasa or Lubumbashi, land tourists of all languages and nationalities. They have only one desire: to make a fortune by exploiting the mineral wealths of the country. They work during the day in mining concession and, as soon as night falls, they go out to get drunk, dance, eat and abandon themselves in Tram 83, the only night-club of the city, the den of all the outlaws: ex children-soldiers, prostitutes, blank students, unmarried mothers, sorcerers' apprentices … Lucien, a professional writer, fleeing the exactions and the censorship, finds refuge in the city thanks to Requiem, a youth friend. Requiem lives mainly on theft and on swindle while Lucien only thinks of writing and living honestly. Around them gravitate gangsters and young girls, retired or runaway men, profit-seeking tourists and federal agents of a non-existent State. Tram 83 plunges the reader into the atmosphere of a gold rush as cynical as, sometimes, comic and colorfully exotic. It's an observation of human relationships in a world that has become a global village. It could be described as an African-rap or rhapsody novel or puzzle-novel hammered by rhythms of jazz.

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3.3/5

Central African Republic in Pictures by Thomas O'Toole

Supports the national curriculum standards Culture; Time, Continuity, and Change; People, Places, and Environments; individual Development and Identity; Individuals, Groups, and Institutions; Power, Authority, and Governance; Production, Distribution, and Consumption; Science, Technology, and Society; and Global Connections as outlined by the National Council for the Socia Supports the national curriculum standards Culture; Time, Continuity, and Change; People, Places, and Environments; individual Development and Identity; Individuals, Groups, and Institutions; Power, Authority, and Governance; Production, Distribution, and Consumption; Science, Technology, and Society; and Global Connections as outlined by the National Council for the Social Studies.

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4.3/5

Making Sense of the Central African Republic by Tatiana Carayannis (Editor) , Louisa Lombard (Editor)

Despite its position at the center of a tumultuous region that has drawn substantial international attention and intervention over the decades, the Central African Republic is often overlooked when discussions turn to questions of postcolonial development, democracy, and change in Africa. This book seeks to remedy that oversight, bringing together the foremost experts on t Despite its position at the center of a tumultuous region that has drawn substantial international attention and intervention over the decades, the Central African Republic is often overlooked when discussions turn to questions of postcolonial development, democracy, and change in Africa. This book seeks to remedy that oversight, bringing together the foremost experts on the Central African Republic to offer the first in-depth analysis of the nation’s recent history of rebellion and instability. Gathering contributions from nearly every scholar and international policy maker who has written on the Central African Republic in recent years, the book presents a close look at the two major coups of the past twenty years, the successes and failures of attempts at international intervention, the ongoing series of UN and regional peacekeeping efforts, and the potential for peaceful, democratic change in the nation’s future.

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4.9/5

In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu's Congo by Michela Wrong

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. 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. 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 firsthand 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, her book assesses how Belgium's King Leopold, the CIA, and the World Bank all helped to bring about the disaster that is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. If, in this poignant account, the villains are the "Big Vegetables" (les Grosses légumes) — the fat cats who benefited from Mobutu's largesse — the heroes are the ordinary citizens trapped in a parody of a state. Living in the shadow of a disintegrating nuclear reactor, where banknotes are not worth the paper they are printed on, they have turned survival into an art form. For all its valuable insights into Africa's colonial heritage and the damage done by Western intervention, In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz is ultimately a celebration of the irrepressible human spirit.

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3.1/5

Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda by Roméo Dallaire , Samantha Power (foreword)

On the 10th anniversary of when UN peacekeepers landed in Rwanda, Random House Canada proudly publishes the unforgettable 1st-hand account of the genocide by the leader of the mission. Digging deep into shattering memories, Dallaire has written a powerful story of betrayal, naïveté, racism & international politics. His message is simple, undeniable: Never again. When L On the 10th anniversary of when UN peacekeepers landed in Rwanda, Random House Canada proudly publishes the unforgettable 1st-hand account of the genocide by the leader of the mission. Digging deep into shattering memories, Dallaire has written a powerful story of betrayal, naïveté, racism & international politics. His message is simple, undeniable: Never again. When Lt-Gen. Roméo Dallaire was called to serve as force commander of the UN intervention in Rwanda in '93, he thought he was heading off on a straightforward peacekeeping mission. Thirteen months later he flew home from Africa, broken, disillusioned & suicidal, having witnessed the slaughter of 800,000 Rwandans in 100 days. In Shake Hands with the Devil, he takes readers with him on a return voyage into hell, vividly recreating the events the international community turned its back on. This book is an unsparing eyewitness account of the failure by humanity to stop the genocide, despite timely warnings. Woven thru the story of this disastrous mission is his own journey from confident Cold Warrior, to devastated UN commander, to retired general engaged in a painful struggle to find a measure of peace, hope & reconciliation. This book is a personal account of his conversion from a man certain of his worth & secure in his assumptions to one conscious of his own weaknesses & failures & critical of the institutions he'd relied on. It might not sit easily with standard ideas of military leadership, but understanding what happened to him & his mission to Rwanda is crucial to understanding the moral minefields peacekeepers are forced to negotiate when we ask them to step into dirty wars.

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4.4/5

Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba, Angola, Africa, 1595 by Patricia C. McKissack

In 1595, Nzingha is the strong, intelligent daughter of the Ngola (leader) of the Mbundu people of Ndongo (in modern-day Angola), loyal to her people and willing to fight for them. Unfortunately, because she is a girl, her brother is the favored child, in training to become the next Ngola, even though he is whiny, stupid, and slow (according to Nzingha). But Ajala, a respe In 1595, Nzingha is the strong, intelligent daughter of the Ngola (leader) of the Mbundu people of Ndongo (in modern-day Angola), loyal to her people and willing to fight for them. Unfortunately, because she is a girl, her brother is the favored child, in training to become the next Ngola, even though he is whiny, stupid, and slow (according to Nzingha). But Ajala, a respected seer, believes that Nzingha is destined to be the leader of Ndongo, and begins preparing her for this future. Nzingha's father fights to keep the Portuguese from taking over their homeland, yet it is Nzingha, ultimately, who acts as the go-between for her people and the Portuguese, negotiating acceptable relations in order to keep peace and power for the Mbundu. Based on true historical events, places, people, and customs, this novel portrays the fascinating details of a remarkable young woman's strength and courage in defending her world against subterfuge, spies, and the onslaught of the Portuguese. Historical notes, photos, illustrations, maps, the Ngola family tree, and a glossary and pronunciation guide are included for a comprehensive understanding of a complex era. Patricia McKissack is the well-respected and award-winning author of over 100 children's books and historical novels, including the Newbery Honor book The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural and Color Me Dark: The Diary of Nellie Lee Love (from the Dear America series). (Ages 9 to 12) --Emilie Coulter

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3.1/5

Mission to Kala by Mongo Beti

Medza is sent off to retrieve a villager's wife who has run off with a man from another tribe. Amongst his best appreciated and funniest novels.

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4.3/5

The Poor Christ of Bomba by Mongo Beti , Gerald Moore (Translator)

In Bomba the girls who are being prepared for Christian marriage live together in the women's camp. Gradually it becomes apparent that the local church men have been using the local girls for their own purposes. This novel is a biting critique of colonial life and missionary activity.

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3.1/5

We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families by Philip Gourevitch

In April of 1994, the government of Rwanda called on everyone in the Hutu majority to kill everyone in the Tutsi minority. Over the next three months, 800,000 Tutsis were murdered in the most unambiguous case of genocide since Hitler's war against the Jews. Philip Gourevitch's haunting work is an anatomy of the killings in Rwanda, a vivid history of the genocide's backgrou In April of 1994, the government of Rwanda called on everyone in the Hutu majority to kill everyone in the Tutsi minority. Over the next three months, 800,000 Tutsis were murdered in the most unambiguous case of genocide since Hitler's war against the Jews. Philip Gourevitch's haunting work is an anatomy of the killings in Rwanda, a vivid history of the genocide's background, and an unforgettable account of what it means to survive in its aftermath.

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3.7/5

Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe by Gérard Prunier

The Rwandan genocide sparked a horrific bloodbath that swept across sub-Saharan Africa, ultimately leading to the deaths of some four million people. In this extraordinary history of the recent wars in Central Africa, Gerard Prunier offers a gripping account of how one grisly episode laid the groundwork for a sweeping and disastrous upheaval. Prunier vividly describes the The Rwandan genocide sparked a horrific bloodbath that swept across sub-Saharan Africa, ultimately leading to the deaths of some four million people. In this extraordinary history of the recent wars in Central Africa, Gerard Prunier offers a gripping account of how one grisly episode laid the groundwork for a sweeping and disastrous upheaval. Prunier vividly describes the grisly aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, when some two million refugees--a third of Rwanda's population--fled to exile in Zaire in 1996. The new Rwandan regime then crossed into Zaire and attacked the refugees, slaughtering upwards of 400,000 people. The Rwandan forces then turned on Zaire's despotic President Mobutu and, with the help of a number of allied African countries, overthrew him. But as Prunier shows, the collapse of the Mobutu regime and the ascension of the corrupt and erratic Laurent-Desire Kabila created a power vacuum that drew Rwanda, Uganda, Angola, Zimbabwe, Sudan, and other African nations into an extended and chaotic war. The heart of the book documents how the whole core of the African continent became engulfed in an intractible and bloody conflict after 1998, a devastating war that only wound down following the assassination of Kabila in 2001. Prunier not only captures all this in his riveting narrative, but he also indicts the international community for its utter lack of interest in what was then the largest conflict in the world. Praise for the hardcover: "The most ambitious of several remarkable new books that reexamine the extraordinary tragedy of Congo and Central Africa since the Rwandan genocide of 1994." --New York Review of Books "One of the first books to lay bare the complex dynamic between Rwanda and Congo that has been driving this disaster." --Jeffrey Gettleman, New York Times Book Review "Lucid, meticulously researched and incisive, Prunier's will likely become the standard account of this under-reported tragedy." --Publishers Weekly "

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