Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa Hardcover – Mar 25 2011
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Kirkus, February 15, 2011
“Impressively controlled account of the devastating Congo war…The book’s greatest strength is the eyewitness dialogue; Stearns discusses his encounters with everyone from major military figures to residents of remote villages (he was occasionally suspected of being a CIA spy)…An important examination of a social disaster that seems both politically complex and cruelly senseless.”
“Covering the devastating effects of these deadly contests on the Congolese infrastructure, Congolese institutions, and people’s lives, Stearns informatively reports on affairs for students of African politics.”
Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2011
“He is a cracking writer, with a wry sense of understatement…Mr. Stearns has spoken to everyone—villagers, child soldiers, Mobutu's commanders, Kabila's ministers, Rwandan intelligence officers. In these conversations he found gold, bringing clarity—and humanity—to a place that usually seems inexplicable and barbaric. ‘Dancing in the Glory of Monsters’ is riveting and certain to become essential reading for anyone looking to understand Central Africa.”
“Stearns is more concerned with the perceptions, motivations, an actions of an eclectic mix of actors in the conflict—from a Tutsi warlord who engaged in massive human rights violations to a Hutu activist turned refugee living in the camps and forests of eastern Congo. He tells their stories with a judicious mix of empathy and distance, linking them to a broader narrative of a two-decade-long conflict that has involved a dozen countries and claimed six million victims.”
“Stearns is a leading authority on the region, having lived there for years working for the United Nations and the International Crisis Group. He has built up a superb knowledge of Congo and how it articulates with its neighbours, particularly Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi. He frequently imparts his understanding to journalists far less well-informed than he. And now he has produced a book where he makes the whole convoluted and confusing war in Congo a little more comprehensible, which is quite a feat. If you want to understand modern Congo then Stearns’ book should be required reading.”
“A brave and accessible take on the leviathan at the heart of so many of Africa’s problems… Stearns’s eye for detail, culled from countless interviews, brings this book alive… I once wrote that the Congo suffers from ‘a lack of institutional memory’, meaning that its atrocities well so inexorably that nobody bothers to keep an account of them. Stearns’s book goes a long way to putting that right.”
The Spectator, May 8, 2011
“(t)his courageous book is a plea for more nuanced understanding and the silencing of the analysis-free ‘the horror, the horror’ exclamation that Congo still routinely wrings from Western lips.”
Sunday Times, May 1, 2011
“Stearns has done a fine job of amassing vast amounts (of material), much of it based directly on interviews with the participants and victims, to bring to light details of a scandalously under-reported war… (T)his book succeeds in providing a vivid chronicles of this rolling conflict involving 20 rival rebel groups.
“a vivid chronicle of the carnage that helps illuminate a tragedy too enormous to comprehend”
Book of the Year, “(a) serious account of the social and political forces behind one of the most violent clashes of modern times… by one of its most meticulous and empathetic observers.”
Times Literary Supplement
“(Dancing in the Glory of Monsters) is both readable and humane. (Jason Stearns) offers an effective narrative of the convoluted regional politics of a conflict that saw the rapid emergence of an alliance of neighbouring governments which gave their support to the rebel army recruited from DRC’s Tutsi population… While Stearns works hard to make his readers understand the violence, it is clear that he is both impassioned and outraged by this story of human suffering… This intelligent and moving book may help us understand some of the people of the Congo better, as humans, tragically liable to do evil rather than as monsters; but unsurprisingly, it provides no clear answer to intractable questions about the scope of international intervention.”
Midwest Book Review
“Any collection strong in African history and culture—as well as many a military collection—will find this a ‘must’”
About the Author
<B>Jason Stearns</B> has been working on the conflict in the Congo for the past ten years. In 2008 he was named by the UN Secretary General to lead a special UN investigation into the violence in the country. He has also worked for a Congolese human rights group, for the United Nations peacekeeping operation, and for the International Crisis Group. He is currently completing a PhD at Yale University.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
He may be somewhat reserved in terms of offering overall themes, and at times I think he tries to reserve his own judgements about certain actors and their actions. It allows the reader to form their own opinions and attempt to put whatever kind of meaning they can on the whole quagmire.
The history of this episode is very significant in terms of the amount of people involved and the catastrophic proportions of what took place. Finally, this book allows the unfamiliar layman to digest the totality of what took place in those conflicts. In the context of this book, the world can begin to shine some light on the reality of the present situation and how it became this way.