'The Media-Savvy Autocrat'

Adam Hochschild, in the New York Times Book Review, writing about Jason K Stearns’ new book, Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa:

Stearns is somewhat easier on Rwanda here than he has been elsewhere, for example, in a United Nations report he contributed to. But he does quote the Rwandan strongman and current president Paul Kagame as calling his military intervention “self-sustaining,” and cites an estimate that the Rwandan Army and allied businesses reaped some $250 million in Congolese minerals profits at the height of the second war. Such figures are backed up in abundant detail in a series of United Nations reports, and ultimately led Sweden and the Netherlands to suspend aid to Rwanda.

Not so the United States. It has supported Kagame for years, contributing indirectly to Congo’s suffering. How this media-savvy autocrat has managed to convince so many American journalists, diplomats and political leaders that he is a great statesman is worth a book in itself.

Is Hochschild calling out Philip Gourevitch?


Sean Jacobs

Sean Jacobs is on the international affairs faculty of The New School. He is the founder and chief editor of Africa is a Country.


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