Why this book?
Ms. Winternitz and Timothy Phelps traveled by local barge 2,000 miles up the Congo River in then-Zaire in 1983, living all the exotica, intrigue, and utter terror you’ve always imagined about the steamy African interior, with a requisite dose of political peril at the hands of Mobutu Sese Seko’s secret police. The Congo (river, country, jungle) is so fabled as opaque and impassable that it has spawned a mini-proliferation of titles.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
In this brilliant mix of political journalism and travel writing, Helen Winternitz and fellow journalist Timothy Phelps witness what few Westerners have: life in the ecologically rich but financially impoverished American-backed dictatorship of Zaire, the former Belgian Congo.