Let me start with writing this: I am impressed.
he Belgian writer David van Reybrouck wrote a heavy book and he collect already many prizes for this publication.
He writes the history of Congo, and he starts at the bottom of society, a history from a bottom-up perpspective, as opposite the top-down approach, in which the rulers and the mighty and the influential get most of the attention and the pages. David gives us an insight into the life of the common man. Through it all we see the wider picture of Congo.
His story start long before the Belgian king Leopold II appeared on the stage of what is now Congo. The rule of Congo by this king has been a very cruel rule, he treated the country as his private backgarden. One part that struck me was the involvement of Rwanda and Uganda in the internal affairs of the country. Both countries have a keen eye for all the raw materials that are present in the land of their mighty neighbour.
David van Reybrouck – Congo. Een geschiedenis – Amsterdam 2010 – 680 pages