What to read on the Congo

In the spirit of my recent post about what to read on Rwanda, here’s my take on the DRC.  (I’ve also updated this list several times, most recently in June 2015.  In retrospect it’s a major problem that there aren’t any works by Congolese or other African authors on this list.  I’ll prioritize those works for a future update.)

Other recommendations?

15 thoughts on “What to read on the Congo

  1. Hi, a lot of useful links…thank you for sharing.

    I would recommend Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja’s book “The Congo: From Leopold to Kabila – A People’s History”.

    Greetings from Croatia.


  2. I’m glad to see someone who interested in studying Congo history.. I’m working on the Congo Free State now and if you need any information your welcome.

    I prefer to read books for Roger Anesty, Vangroenweghe and STENGERS.


  3. Hi Rachel, I’m from Argentina and I’ve found this web very useful. I’m currently working on my thesis “Regionalization of the DRC conflict in the frame of the disintegration of the state”. I read Reyntjens’ and Lemarchand’s, which were very interesting.
    I recommend you to read:
    -Alex Veit “Intervention as indirect rule: Civil war and statebuilding in the Democratic Republic of Congo” (focused on Ituri)
    -Gerard Prunier “Africa’s world war: Congo, the Rwandan genocide, and the making of a continental catastrophe”
    -Jean-Pierre Chrétien & Richard Banégas “The recurring Great Lakes crisis: Identity, violence and power”
    -John F. Clark “The African stakes of the Congo war”



  4. No problem! Sorry was in a bit of rush when I posted the last one. I would add V.S. Naipul’s A Bend In The River and Graham Greene’s A Burnt Out Case, although I know a lot of people who don’t like Greene’s style. I really enjoyed In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz. I once wrote an essay about how Mobutu was a Romantic (dont ask), essentially using only this book. Its sort of funny how he spent the money he used but at the same time people were suffering under his rule.

    Tomas (I have a reading list on my blog if your interested: http://i-am-an-african.blogspot.com/)


  5. I would recommend the work of Guy Vanthemsche (In french)on the economical input of the Congo Free state and Belgian Congo toward Belgium. http://www.amazon.ca/Belgique-Congo-Guy-Vanthemsche/dp/2804801101

    And the work of Daniel Vangroenweghe, who puts a different angle on the Congo Free state than Hochschild.

    The work of Autesserre is very intresting, but it is in the militay field not new. Jean Luxen writes his story in the same field on the period of independence.


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