• Dancing in the Glory of Monsters

  • The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa
  • By: Jason Stearns
  • Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain
  • Length: 15 hrs and 27 mins
  • Categories: History, Africa
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (144 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 K. 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.

©2011 Jason K. Stearns (P)2017 Tantor

What listeners say about Dancing in the Glory of Monsters

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

First book I've found that explains DRC

Read three books - this, The Fate of Africa, and King Leopold's Ghost - to get a good understanding of modern Africa and DRC specifically. Author does a first class job of clarifying a complicated and twisted subject.

11 people found this helpful

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Great analysis of events

I’ve been interested in the situation in Congo for quite some time. This story covers all the bases and does a great job of explaining this complex and delicate subject. I highly recommend to anyone.

7 people found this helpful

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Fantastic book

More people should be informed about the history of the Congo. As the author states, it is complicated. Narrator did a great job with pronunciation.

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliantly and compassionately breaks down complexity

Stearns does not shy away from complexity, but provides context and linkages to aid us to better understanding of the Congo. For those who have little knowledge of the recent bloody history of this region, this is an excellent and comprehensive work. Dismantles the quick and easy explanations for the chaos.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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valuable and informative

This is a book on a subject -Congo over the past 20+ years and the history leading to that era-that is hard to cover and hard to find honest information about. The book covers the Congo without trying to tell everything. It isn't a history book that distills a thousand narratives. it presents narratives from different sides, comes to some of its own conclusions, and let's the reader come to some. I find it valuable because it attempts to explain what happened with the Congo without making it about the West. The story is miraculously about the Congo and the Congolese and it's neighbors and for that it deserves credit.

2 people found this helpful

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An excellent, challenging book

This book is great, excellent narration, recommend listening with a map of the Congo to guide you. The subject can become a bit overwhelming, due to the nature of the abuses, cruelty and the internationals communities willingness to turn a blind eye.

2 people found this helpful

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Understanding What I Have Been Living In

I have spent the past 27 years in Central Africa. As I listened to this book, I remembered where my family and I were during many of the conflicts. We were fortunate, we could leave when life got bad. This really helped to see the big picture as Mobutu lost power, Laurent Kabila came to power, and now Joseph Kabila reigns. Oh that Congo could find a true solution to all the complicated problems! Jason Stearns has done a great job of wading through and explaining. Mike Chamberlain could have used some advice on pronunciation of different regions and cities, otherwise he sounds like a news reporter all the way through.

5 people found this helpful

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Best book I have ever read on the Congo

This book is very well researched and the and capture the Congolese reality lol ke no other book I have ever read.

3 people found this helpful