Non-Fiction Books:

The Congo

Plunder and Resistance


Paperback / softback

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The Congo by David Renton
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Since well before Henry Morgan Stanley's fabled encounter with David Livingstone on the shore on Lake Tanganyika in the late 19th century and his subsequent collaboration with King Leopold of Belgium in looting the country of its mineral wealth, the Congo's history has been one of collaboration by a minority with, and struggle by the majority against, Western intervention. Before the colonial period, there were military struggles against annexation. During Belgian rule, charismatic religious figures emerged, promising an end to white domination; copper miners struck for higher wages; and rural workers struggled for survival. During the second half of the 20th century, the Congo's efforts at disentanglement from Belgian rule, the murder of the nationalist leader Patrice Lumumba and the long dictatorship of General Mobutu culminated in one of the bloodiest wars the world has ever seen. At the start of a new millennium, this book argues that the West has plundered Africa to its own advantage and that unrestrained global capitalism threatens to remake the entire world, bringing violence and destruction in the name of profit. In this radical history, the authors show not only how the Congo represents and symbolises the continent's long history of subordination, but also how the determined struggle of its people has continued, against the odds, to provide the Congo and the rest of Africa with real hope for the future.

Author Biography

David Renton is currently an Associate Professor of Sociology at Johannesburg University, South Africa, having taught previously at Rhodes University, Sunderland University and Nottingham Trent University. He gained his MA in Modern History at Oxford University in 1995, and his PhD at Sheffield University in 1998. He has also worked for several years as a trade union official. His recent books include: When we Touched the Sky: The Anti-Nazi League 1977-1981 (New Clarion Press, 2006), Trotsky (London: Haus Life and Times, 2004), Dissident Marxism (London: Zed Books, 2004). David Seddon has a BA and MA from Cambridge and a PhD in social anthropology from the LSE. He has lived, worked and undertaken research and consultancy in Africa (and Asia) for some 40 years. Having taught at the University of Cape Town and University of the Witwatersrand in the late 1960s and the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) in the early 1970s, he moved in 1972 to the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich. There he helped establish the School of Development Studies, where he currently holds a Chair in Sociology & Politics. A former member of the editorial board of the Review of African political economy, he is the author of numerous works on African political economy. His most recent published book is A Political and Economic Dictionary of Africa (Europa Publications, Taylor & Francis 2005) and he is currently working on an A to Z of Political Islam, for Zed Books. Leo Zeilig is a Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Johannesburg. He has lectured at Brunel University, where he was awarded his PhD and Chiekh Anta Diop University in Senegal. His publications include the edited book: Class Struggle and Resistance in Africa (New Clarion Press, 2002).
Release date Australia
December 4th, 2006
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Zed Books Ltd
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