• Patrice Lumumba

  • The Life and Legacy of the Pan-African Politician Who Became Congo’s First Prime Minister
  • By: Charles River Editors
  • Narrated by: David Bernard
  • Length: 2 hrs and 1 min
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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Patrice Lumumba

By: Charles River Editors
Narrated by: David Bernard
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Publisher's Summary

“Without dignity there is no liberty, without justice there is no dignity, and without independence there are no free men.” (Patrice Lumumba)

The modern history of Africa was, until very recently, written on behalf of the indigenous races by the white man, who had forcefully entered the continent during a particularly hubristic and dynamic phase of European history. In 1884, Prince Otto von Bismarck, the German chancellor, brought the plenipotentiaries of all major powers of Europe together, to deal with Africa's colonization in such a manner as to avoid provocation of war. This event - known as the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 - galvanized a phenomenon that came to be known as the Scramble for Africa. The conference established two fundamental rules for European seizure of Africa. The first of these was that no recognition of annexation would granted without evidence of a practical occupation, and the second, that a practical occupation would be deemed unlawful without a formal appeal for protection made on behalf of a territory by its leader, a plea that must be committed to paper in the form of a legal treaty.

One of the most controversial colonization efforts took place in the Congo, which still conjures up contrasting images of jungles, wildlife, warlords, civil wars, blood diamonds, and the ongoing anarchy of ethnic and tribal warfare. Indeed, the vast expanse of Congo remains one of the most enigmatic and little-known regions of Africa. It is also, undeniably, the original African failed state. It has suffered generations of warlord rule, inter-ethnic violence and insecurity, particularly in the remote and isolated east of the country.

The original name of the region derives from the Kingdom of Kongo, a pre-colonial power that ruled a limited region surrounding, and extended south of, the mouth of the Congo River. The first Europeans to discover the mouth of the Congo River were the Portuguese, who incrementally explored the coast of Africa throughout the late 15th century and established diplomatic and trade relations with the Kongo Kingdom before assuming control of what later became Portuguese West Africa, and later still Angola. At that point in history, the European trading powers were only really interested in trade, most particularly the Atlantic Slave Trade, and there was little incentive to penetrate the interior to any depth. The Portuguese made no particular effort, therefore, to explore the Congo River any further inland than the Crystal Mountains or the extensive region of rapids that tended to shield the interior from the coast. For generations the Portuguese simply traded off the coast, while what lay beyond in the dark interior remained a matter of myth and speculation.

It was in the nature of Belgium’s withdrawal from Africa that power was essentially handed over to the first in line to receive it. Very little of the careful preparation that characterized the British withdrawal from Africa was evident in Congo, in major part due to the fact that the Belgian system of administration allowed for no phased entry of Congolese employees into the executive level, so there was no one trained or experienced in running a government who was in a position to take over from the departing Belgians. The same, indeed, was true in the armed forces.

As it turned out, the first in line to take power was a tall, stern-featured ideologue by the name of Patrice Lumumba. Though he was still just 35, his life story was already one full of ideology, politics, and chaos, and things would only get more turbulent once he became the Congo’s leader.

Patrice Lumumba: The Life and Legacy of the Pan-African Politician Who Became Congo’s First Prime Minister looks at one of the most important African leaders of the 20th century.

©2019 Charles River Editors (P)2019 Charles River Editors

What listeners say about Patrice Lumumba

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

Not enough about Lumumba

For such a short biography, I was expecting more specific information about Lumumba's life, work, and Legacy. Too much time is spent setting the atmosphere.

1 person found this helpful

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Painful to listen to.

I have purchased many books from audible, but by far the worst, the reading sounds like an advanced AI reading from a textbook. Please discontinue this book.

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tries to be fair and balanced, lacks data

The French is horrible. That aside, an interesting account, more conservative than I am used to. Doesn't go out of the way to prove that Lumumba is a communist. Doesn't worship the hero, either. I don't think fair and balanced is possible without more data. I am disappointed that the audiobook wasn't 12 hours long. Out of 2 hours, 1 hour was wasted on Leopold.

Hasty independence is a risky undertaking to say the least. But Western policies set the atmosphere for indépendance immediate. Lumumba might be a loose canon, but he seems like a manipulated man, and I can recognize snapshots of myself in these hyperventilating moments. America experienced similar manipulations with Trump. In both cases, Russia was the political boogeyman of the globalists. I don't know what Lumumba's "marxist catchprases" were. As for lacking ideology, Sir Seretse Khama shares that trait, and, apart from the fallen heroes who could have ended up becoming anything, he was the best. Thomas Sankara was such a superficial marxist that he was practically a right wing populist.

The Lumumba briefcase was interesting data. But in case that reminds you of the Biden laptop, it is widely believed that many of the documents are forged. I find it very odd that Nkrumah is the real communist, and Dulles is unconcerned. Lumumba himself evidently did not realize how toxic Nkrumah would turn out to be. Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja reports that Ghanaian troops handed Lumumba over to the captors during Lumumba's second capture on December 2. The political intrigue was intense.

Lumumba could have become anything: Nkrumah, Idi Amin, Gaddafi, Kenyatta, Khama. Kenyatta was once connected to Nkrumah. Later, he exiled the socialists and rejected union with Nyerere. Would Lumumba have done similar? He could have made a hard turn to the left like Castro. He could have cut ties with Nkrumah after finding out about Nkrumah's corruption. It's impossible to tell because he was assassinated. But being well-read and having a taste for Voltaire are traits of conservatives like ABL. The Nkrumah gospel of seeking the political kingdom doesn't roll off his tongue. The legacy of Patrice Lumumba has come to America in the person of Dave Chappelle, and we think his jokes are funny. The ones who call for his assassination are the Woke hypocrites.

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Belgium/UN/USA

I find it amusing that from the start, he was being undermined by the colonial power structure. They had people in place for a coup from the outset. The author states “Despite the Congo being one of the richest regions of the world the people remain poor”. That equates to despite the United States being “for the people” blacks are being left behind on median household wealth. Disingenuous at best. The author also states “What happened to Patrice Lumumba lies somewhere in the middle”. The middle of what the Belgians, the UN, and the United States. To much money in the Congo to let go. Write more about the devil king. Give people a in-depth view of King Leopold’s reign of terror. He will burn 10x on judgment day. This is exactly why the United States doesn’t want Critical Race Theory being taught. The white man has been a universal devil throughout history. I know you can’t change the past, but you can tell the truth about. Signed: Myron R. Walker

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wretched

The narrator's mispronunciations afflict practically every sentence and the book itself is the most barren coverage of Lumumba possible, covering little of his own words and writings.

A perusal of the Wikipedia article would be a better use of one's time.

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Bad

Terrible narration. Sounds like one of those auto reader bots on a cheap laptop. I don't recommend.

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Garbage

Reading is terrible and story presentation mediocre at best. The last 25 minutes is dude reading ISBN numbers for further reading

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Terrible narrator!

I found this title useful as a compact introduction to the life and tragic death of Patrice Lumumba and the whole Congo debacle. But I must say that the narrator was terrible. He read everything in a mechanical staccato, resembling a computer generated voice. But what is worse is that he completely massacred the various French terms of which there is a multitude in the book, French being the administrative language of the Congo of that era. Okay, this is a book in English and one should not expect a bilingual narrator, but it is not too much to expect that, faced with a French title or phrase, the narrator should try to find out how it is pronounced and attempt an at least approximate reading. However, Mr. Bernard obviously thought that they way to deal with French terms is to read them letter-by-letter, ignoring the fact that some letters are silent in French, or that others are combined to read like a different sound. The result was wincingly painful and irritating for anyone with some knowledge of French!

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Interesting Overview

I would recommend this as an interesting HIGH LEVEL overview of Patrice Lumumba's rise to prominence and his demise.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-26-20

The title of the book is misleading

I expected to learn so much about Patrice Lumumba. Instead I listened to three to four chapters about the in-depth reasonings of King Leopold, the Belgian Empire and the Rape of Africa. On the subject of Patrice the information this book gives is so perfunctory, it is less information than I can find on Wikipedia. To make matters worse the narrator is so mechanical and ignorant, butchering any word that is not English. I gave the overall story and book one star not because of the content but because I am a generous person. This book is a total waste of my time.

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  • Hiswill Focho
  • 05-04-21

A very western perspective

Short, precise and woefully baised. Though mostly factual and a relatively accurate depiction of Patrice Lumumba's political experience, the book reads as indulgence into western superiority from a privilledged unsympathetic indivual's view of Patrice Lumumb, the history and the people of Congo.

The first third of the book while attempting to contenxualise the economic and political environment Lumumba emerged into, it instead focuses solely on the european interests in Congo as if the region never existed before King Leopold's arrival. When the author does turn to the titular figure, Patrice Lumumba's life is also narrated through the lens of his affiliation to various colonial establishments and gives no insight into any personal or characteric development and ideals deviod of it's roots in devasting idealised western structures in Congo at the time, such as schools, career developmennt and the criminal justice system. Jail and later involvment in several raadical politcal groups seeking to overthrow the then satus quo. Lumumba seems to be potrayed as a corrupt character and the blueprint fora legacy of corruption and poverty in Congo and across Africa. This book is more honestly an account of the political dynamics in the Congo region from King Leopold's conquest to "the englitment" in colonialism and the legacy of Patrice Lumumba's brief intervention of europe's control on the region.

Foolishly, I expected 'The Life and Legacy of the Pan-African Politician Who Became Congo’s First Prime Minister' to be a full, well balanced account of the people,structures, experiences and ideals that influenced Patrice Lumumba's life; alas I was disappointed.

1 person found this helpful