The New York Review of Books on Hidden War in the Congo

In the September 24 issue of The New York Review of Books Howard W. French examines three recent studies of violence in Central Africa: René Lemarchand's The Dynamics of Violence in Central Africa, Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe by Gérard Prunier, and The Congo Wars: Conflict, Myth and Reality by Thomas Turner. French writes:

. . . these books
will surprise many whose knowledge of the region is based on popular
accounts of the genocide and its aftermath. In all three, the Kagame
regime, and its allies in Central Africa, are portrayed not as heroes
but rather as opportunists who use moral arguments to advance economic
interests. And their supporters in the United States and Western Europe
emerge as alternately complicit, gullible, or simply confused. For
their part in bringing intractable conflict to a region that had known
very little armed violence for nearly thirty years, all the parties—so
these books argue—deserve blame, including the United States.

French goes on to discuss how Lemarchand brings neglected elements of Central Africa's history and political dynamics to the forefront of the discussion.

The complete article, "Kagame's Hidden War in the Congo," is available at