The History of Congo

by Ch. Didier Gondola

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December 2002


Pages 248
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics World History/Politics and Government

This book begins with a survey of Congo's early history, when diverse peoples such as the Luba, the Kuba, and the Nilotic inhabited the area, and continues by tracing the country's history through the Belgian period of colonization and the dictatorships of Mobutu and Kabila. Biographical portraits present important figures in Congo's storied history. An annotated bibliography and chronology help make this the most current and accessible introduction to this fascinating, complex, and long-suffering nation.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire, is located at the center of Africa. The country encompasses the entire Congo River Basin, the potential source of 13% of the world's hydroelectric power. The Congo River Basin also contains one-third of Africa's rainforests, countless species of trees, and more then 10,000 species of flowering plants. Congo contains extremely valuable deposits of diamonds and coltan, a metal used in high-tech machinery. Because of this abundance of natural resources, Congo has unfortunately been the site of colonial domination, repressive dictatorships, and internecine violence between rebel groups and neighboring countries.

Table of Contents

The Congo Basin in Ancient and Precolonial Times
Colonial Conquest 1885-1890
Leopoldian Congo 1885-1908
Bula Matari 1908-1945
The Crisis of Decolonization 1945-1960
The First Republic 1960-1965
The Second Republic 1965-1990
Democratic Transition 1990-1997
The Third Republic 1997-2001
Epilogue: Africa's First Continental War
Appendix: Notable People of the Congo
Selected Bibliography

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