The History of Congo

by Ch. Didier Gondola


Gondola offers concise account of one of Africa's most mineral-rich and strife-torn countries.

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Cover image for The History of Congo

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.

Series Description

The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations

Every school and public library should update its resources with these engagingly written and succinct narrative histories of the world's nations covering prehistoric times through today. Based on the most recent scholarship, each history provides a chronological narrative examining the political, cultural, philosophical, and religious continuities in the featured nation's long, rich history in an exploration of how its people came to be who they are today. Each volume includes a chronological narrative history, a timeline of events, biographical sketches of key figures, a glossary, and a bibliographic essay.
Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroductionThe Congo Basin in Ancient and Precolonial TimesColonial Conquest 1885-1890Leopoldian Congo 1885-1908Bula Matari 1908-1945The Crisis of Decolonization 1945-1960The First Republic 1960-1965The Second Republic 1965-1990Democratic Transition 1990-1997The Third Republic 1997-2001Epilogue: Africa's First Continental WarAppendix: Notable People of the CongoSelected BibliographyIndex



Gondola's broad, wide-ranging, and well-documented volume, written clearly and from the perspective of the Congolese people, includes many useful features: current and former names of places, a time line of historical events, biographical notes on Congo's most notable leaders, and a chapter-by-chapter annotated bibliography....[a]n ideal introduction to the study of Congo and an extremely valuable research instrument for anyone interested in the tragic history of this country.—African Studies Review

Drawing on the work of well-established scholars, Gondola surveys the story of the Congo from earliest prehistoric times until the very recent past. No other book offers such a comprehensive summary.—The Historian

An accessible and up to date history of the Congo from earliest times through to colonialism, independence, and dictatorship.—African Book Centre Book Review

[a] useful and accessible resource for laymen and libraries.—Journal of African Historical Studies

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