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Congo Stories: Battling Five Centuries of Exploitation and Greed

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  10 reviews
From the author of the New York Times bestselling and award-winning Not on Our Watch, John Prendergast co-writes a compelling book with Fidel Bafilemba--with stunning photographs by Ryan Gosling--revealing the way in which the people and resources of the Democratic Republic of Congo have been used throughout the last five centuries to build, develop, advance, and safeguard ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published December 4th 2018 by Grand Central Publishing
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  91 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it
3.25 / 5.0

Quick read. Short historical section. Oral Histories are compelling but not my favorite way to learn.
Sergio Dongala
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A sad and hopeful book, simply amazing.
Sometimes is difficult to read the stories in this book, because they are so difficult to digest. Difficult to believe what people are going on now, because they have the resources that we need. I live in the neighbor country of Angola, and a lot of stuff in this book, I have to say with shame I was not aware of. Some African people see Congo just as the child trouble maker, that always has problems. When we go to a place that is not organized to call it: "
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was hard to get through. It was a dense text without conveying much meat in the information. I found the writing/framing to be fairly immature. The first half of the book provided a decent overview of the history of conflict in DRC, but the second half was more of a propaganda piece. These two focuses didn't marry well in the text and it was insufficiently engaging to keep my attention the whole way through, even as someone who's worked in mining CSR. The narrative bounced incongruentl ...more
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
First, the fact that Ryan Gosling did the photography for this was sort of weird. I really wish there had been more photos to accompany all of the personal stories in this book. I felt this book, while not always fun to read (in fact it was never fun) was an important testament from one of the most conflicted countries in the world. It was a direct letter to the West, saying "hey, we're not inherently a disaster, but we can only get better if you make ethical purchases...because when you don't v ...more
Ameena Bossier Djanga
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As person now married to a Congolese man and a part of a Congolese family, this book was truly eye opening. There is so much I told history about how the DR Congo is so interconnected to most of our worlds today. If you have a phone, computer, car, jewelry or anything like that in your possession, READ THIS BOOK. There are people across the world who are a part of the sacrifice for you to have those things.

Overall very well written with compelling stories from those on the ground.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book. While not pulling punches about the challenges faced by the Congolese people historically and currently, it also highlights their strength, hope and resilience, and lights the way forward.
Alok Joshi
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read - setting the context and solutions

This book is very informative and focuses on solutions. It also tells stories about many brave people who are fighting for sustainable change.

Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read. Inspiring and captivating. A comprehensive overview of Congo’s history over the past 500 years. Written in an easy to understand way. Highly recommend!
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You don’t have to be a Bush. You can be a tree.
Len Coombs
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: africa
Interesting but poorly organized. Much of the book relates to people and issues in the region of Goma, with little relating to other parts of the country.
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John Prendergast is a human rights activist and best-selling author who has worked for peace in Africa for over 25 years. He is the co-founder of the Enough Project, an initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity affiliated with the Center for American Progress. John has worked for the Clinton White House, the State Department, two members of Congress, the National Intelligence Council, ...more

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“industry analyst Caspar Rawles maintains. “We expect cobalt supply from [Congo] to become more dominant in the market.”200 Another industry analyst, Andries Gerbens, warns: “The cobalt-supply dependency on the Congo is a risky situation.” 201 This dependence has sparked multiple research efforts at finding an alternative to cobalt to utilize in efforts to improve the life and cost-effectiveness of batteries.” 0 likes
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