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African Book Club: In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz by Michela Wrong

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Soho Tea & Coffee

2150 P Street Northwest

Washington, DC 20037

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Join YPIA African Program as we discuss the end of the reign of Mubutu in the Congo through the eyes of a journalist who experienced it all. Known as "the Leopard," the president of Zaire for thirty-two years, Mobutu Sese Seko, showed all the cunning of his namesake -- seducing Western powers, buying up the opposition, and dominating his people with a devastating combination of brutality and charm. While the population was pauperized, he plundered the country's copper and diamond resources, downing pink champagne in his jungle palace like some modern-day reincarnation of Joseph Conrad's crazed station manager.

Michela Wrong, a correspondent who witnessed Mobutu's last days, traces the rise and fall of the idealistic young journalist who became the stereotype of an African despot. Engrossing, highly readable, and as funny as it is tragic, In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz assesses the acts of the villains and the heroes in this fascinating story of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Soho Tea & Coffee

2150 P Street Northwest

Washington, DC 20037

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