This was great, and revealing. Clearly well researched and dealt with a sensitive topic well. I’ve been interested in lumumba for a long time and it was great to read more with newly opened documents,
The author has access to new documents but, doesn't offer much to the hagiographies of Lumumba of which many exist. A good read that piles together all the exisitng sources including recently declassified ones to offer a new take on Lumumba and his brief turn as president of the Congo. The book is very hostile to Mobutu and to the Katanga side so not without its biases.
I loved this book. It details the end of Belgian colonialism in the Congo, the subsequent rise to power of Patrice Lumumba, his swift and tragic decline, lots of behind the scenes dealings and movements of government agencies and how the Congo was caught in the middle of a cold war struggle leading to disastrous consequences. The story of Patrice Lumumba is an event that I’ve only heard of briefly mentioned in other books and when I saw that this was coming out, it instantly became one of my most anticipated books of the year. I’ve got pretty limited knowledge of African history and politics but this book was easily accessible and would be enjoyable for anyone with an interest in the subject whether you’re well versed or not. Coming in at over 600 pages, it’s a hefty book but held my intrigue throughout. If you’re interested in the behind the scenes workings/meddlings of the CIA, UN this book whets the appetite. A compelling piece of investigative reporting, it reads like a John LeCarre spy novel and I can’t recommend it enough. 5 stars. Thank you to the author, publisher, and Netgalley for an advanced digital copy of the book.
I learned an amazing amount about the history of the Congo, the details around Lumumba's rule, and the involvement of the CIA and UN in the country's escape from Belgian colonial rule. The tale involves a charismatic leader with no true leadership or political experience, military mutiny, chaos, feckless involvement by the UN, Soviet contact, CIA involvement, just to name a few components. A sad mess it was indeed, to put it mildly. The book was hard for me to stick with, as I found it dry, and I was so frustrated with the human ineptitude displayed by all involved, at all levels, leaving death and mayhem in their wake.
The Lumumba Plot is a well-paced, deeply researched narrative of how the exhilaration and hope of independence for Congo from a particularly brutal Belgian subjugation evaporated in the heat of the Cold War. Patrice Lumumba's desperate plea for support from the Soviet Union after Western nations ignored the same resulted in repeated CIA actions that ultimately led to the young leader's assassination. The "Congo crisis" fallout continues to impact the region, and this tightly written history is an accessible, engaging primer in the events, interests, and personalities involved.