A sparkling account of the rise and fall of Mobutu Sese Seko, the charismatic dictator who plundered his country’s wealth and indulged a passion for pink champagne, gold jewellery and chartered Concordes. Absurdity, anarchy and corruption run riot in Michela Wrong’s fascinating dissection of the Congo; a story of grim comedy amidst the apocalypse and a celebration of the sheer indestructibility of the human spirit.
Author: Michela Wrong
Paperback: 335 pages
Publisher: Fourth Estate, a division of HarperCollinsPublishers
“Michela Wrong nimbly balances absurdity and outrage in her portrait of Mobuto Sese Seko and the wreckage he visited with steady Western sponsorship – on the county he called Zaire. Her book is charged with pity and terror, and with the sort of sustaining humour that she rightly admires in Mobutu’s former subjects.” - Philip Gourevitch
“Michela Wrong’s colourful, vivid study of the rise and fall of Mobutu mixed the horror stories and well-researched history with a sympathetic study of the daily lives of those who somehow survived in a country plunged into economic freefall.” – Guardian
“Michela Wrong blends the history of the Congo and her personal experiences into a compelling narrative, and apportions blame to those foreign governments without whose financial support Mobutu’s tyranny could never have flourished.” – Mail on Sunday
“Ms Wrong was present at Mobutu’s downfall in 1997, and her description of those days is both hair-raising and hilarious … This book is a subtle evocation of the complexities of Africa.” – Sunday Telegraph