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Consuming the Congo: War and Conflict Minerals in the World's Deadliest Place

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  69 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Every time you use a cell phone or log on to a computer, you could be contributing to the death toll in the bloodiest, most violent region in the world: the eastern Congo. Rich in “conflict minerals”--valuable resources mined in the midst of armed conflict and egregious human rights abuses--this remote and lawless land is home to deposits of gold and diamonds as well as co ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Chicago Review Press
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3.36  · 
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 ·  69 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Jul 31, 2012 rated it did not like it
A formless, untheorized travelogue through the hellish postmodern battlespace of Eastern Congo. There's a little potted history of how Congo got to be such a cauldron of humanitarian abuse, and a vague sense that there are faraway factors that drive the cycles of violence, but no sense of how Congo's travails are symptoms of larger problems, or that the things that go on in Congo are continuous and importantly similar to problems elsewhere in the world. The total inattention to the demand-side o ...more
Mar 01, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, economics
I have to start by thanking Nils—because of your review of this book I feel like I don't have to start from scratch. Still, I would like to build on your critique of this very problematic book... a truly wasted opportunity.

The biggest problem with this book is that it fails to break the centuries-old Heart of Darkness approach to Africa and Africans. In fact, it actively reinforces it! At one point, I was disappointed to find myself trudging through two chapters about Sudan/Darfur/South Sudan. C
Social  Good Moms
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
There has increasingly been more attention paid to conflict minerals - the minerals that are extracted from mainly developing countries - that are used to power the technology we all cannot live without. These minerals cause problems for a great many of us. We cannot go a day or even a few hours without our cell phones, tablets, and laptops even though we realize that the minerals inside of them most likely caused suffering from some African miner working to earn very little wages. With every so ...more
Margaret Sankey
Sep 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Profoundly depressing work from an experienced agent of the IPWR at the Hague about the eastern Congo--not a history of the region's problems, but anecdotes from the ground displaying the intractability of the problems, including the deep resentment of the ICC's war crimes trials, the staggering corruption in joint Congolese-Rwandan military operations, rogue militias making money charging observers for access to refugee camps and interviews, charcoal production and destruction of wildlife habit ...more
Peter Eichstaedt
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Excellent, since I wrote it.
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Eichstaedt gives us one journalist/activist's view of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a basic history of why the violence is happening. He attempts to weave together the histories of the various factions involved in the mess that is Eastern DRC, while recounting first and third-person stories of atrocities and corruption perpetrated but these groups. We get a good sense for how desperately violent the region can early in the book, and then a sometimes basic recounting of ...more
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
The author, Peter Eichstaedt is a writer and editor who has worked and traveled in Africa. Here he writes of the eastern Congo, a region being destroyed by an entrenched war the scale of which exceeds any previous conflict by any measure.

The book's chapters are each like their own essay on the various topics such as mining, armies, individual locations, the effects of war on people, the rape epidemic, the minerals themselves, reform proposals and others. There are descriptions of mines, a buying
Nov 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: college
It was quite interesting in a disturbing way. Knowing what's happening in such a country was mind blowing. But truth to be told i wouldn't have read this if it was for was one of those books that really opens up your mind and even if you don't find interest in such a theme, i advise you to read the book because if it changed my mind, it can also change yours.
Aileen Lord
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as a Good reads giveaway and found it a very interesting book. I knew Congo was a waring country but had no idea of the extent. We always hear of the exploiting of minerals in these countries but the extent is enormous. This book is very enlightening and also offers a glimmer of hope with possible reforms.
Ruth Rowlands
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
A disturbing book that highlights one of the biggest tragedies in the world. My goal when reading it was to try and picture individual people rather than the masses. When put in difficult circumstances us humans can inflict horrific things on each other.
Nuno Miguel
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
Interesting in some chapters. Boring because the only thing that changes is people's opinion.
Peter Eichstaedt
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
The reality behind the headlines. A compelling book.
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-reads
Well researched book and sad state of affairs.
Tarmo Syvapuro
Jun 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: africa
This is only part of the truth. Other areas in DRC are very different. Problems are in Eastern region as described.
Nathan Rynerson
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Peter Eichstaedt is a veteran journalist who has worked in locations worldwide, including the Balkans, eastern Europe, Afghanistan, and Eastern and Central Africa. His latest work is a a murder mystery titled Napa Noir, set in northern California wine country.