Dancing in the Glory of Monsters by Jason Stearns
The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa

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At the heart of Africa is Congo, a country the size of Western Europe, bordering nine other nations, that since 1996 has been wracked by a brutal and unstaunchable war in which millions have died. And yet, despite its epic proportions, it has received little sustained media attention.

In this deeply reported book, Jason Stearns vividly tells the story of this misunderstood conflict through the experiences of those who engineered and perpetrated it. He depicts village pastors who survived massacres, the child soldier assassin of President Kabila, a female Hutu activist who relives the hunting and methodical extermination of fellow refugees, and key architects of the war that became as great a disaster as--and was a direct consequence of--the genocide in neighboring Rwanda. Through their stories, he tries to understand why such mass violence made sense, and why stability has been so elusive.

Through their voices, and an astonishing wealth of knowledge and research, Stearns chronicles the political, social, and moral decay of the Congolese State.


About Jason Stearns

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Jason Stearns 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.
Published March 27, 2012 by PublicAffairs. 402 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

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Stearns, who in 2008 led a special UN investigation regarding the region’s violence, argues that the war “had no one cause, no clear conceptual essence that can be easily distilled in a couple of paragraphs.” While he agrees that the 1994 Rwandan genocide provided the war’s genesis, he argues tha...

Mar 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Dancing in the Glory of Monst...

The New York Times

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“How,” Stearns asks, “do you cover a war that involves at least 20 different rebel groups and the armies of nine countries, yet does not seem to have a clear cause or objective?” “Dancing in the Glory of Monsters” is the best account so far: more serious than several recent macho-war-corresponden...

Apr 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Dancing in the Glory of Monst...

The Wall Street Journal

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Stearns's "Dancing in the Glory of Monsters" is an authoritative look at the war that began in Congo in 1996 and that eventually involved nine countries and 20 different rebel movements, resulting in the deaths of more than five million people.

Apr 02 2011 | Read Full Review of Dancing in the Glory of Monst...

eInternational Relations

There was not one Congo war, or even two, but at least forty or fifty different, interlocking wars.” Stearns’ contribution to unravelling these interlocking wars is a fascinating and important read for any international relations scholar interested in the history-or the future-of the war in the ...

Sep 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Dancing in the Glory of Monst...

Think Africa Press

He claims that the Western media’s fixation with the violence and atrocities that have blighted the DRC’s first years, "distracts from the politics that gave rise to the conflict", and in Dancing in the Glory of Monsters he tries to make some sense of what caused the breakdown of the Congo in 1996.

Aug 24 2011 | Read Full Review of Dancing in the Glory of Monst...

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