“Lumumba…was a pivotal player in the history of African nationalism, in the same league as Mandela in terms of his influence. Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja provides an excellent short introduction to Lumumba’s life and historical significance.”
David N. Gibbs, professor of history, University of Arizona
“The contribution [Nzongola-Ntalaja makes] to the literature of Patrice Lumumba, and the Congo, is ironically not concentrating on Lumumba’s iconic Cold War death but instead placing his life and words into the proper cultural, economic, and historical context of Congolese history. …I would highly recommend [Patrice Lumumba] for students in African or Congolese politics. …[It challenges] us not to dwell on his death but breathe life into his words, because the questions Patrice Lumumba raised about self-determination then are still relevant for all of us today.”
Christopher Cook, African Studies Quarterly
Patrice Lumumba was a leader of the independence struggle in what is today the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the country’s first democratically elected prime minister. After a meteoric rise in the colonial civil service and the African political elite, he became a major figure in the decolonization movement of the 1950s. Lumumba’s short tenure as prime minister (1960–1961) was marked by an uncompromising defense of Congolese national interests against pressure from international mining companies and the Western governments that orchestrated his eventual demise.
Cold war geopolitical maneuvering and well-coordinated efforts by Lumumba’s domestic adversaries culminated in his assassination at the age of thirty-five, with the support or at least the tacit complicity of the U.S. and Belgian governments, the CIA, and the UN Secretariat. Even decades after Lumumba’s death, his personal integrity and unyielding dedication to the ideals of self-determination, self-reliance, and pan-African solidarity assure him a prominent place among the heroes of the twentieth-century African independence movement and the worldwide African diaspora.
Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja’s short and concise book provides a contemporary analysis of Lumumba’s life and work, examining both his strengths and his weaknesses as a political leader. It also surveys the national, continental, and international contexts of Lumumba’s political ascent and his swift elimination by the interests threatened by his ideas and practical reforms.
Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja is a professor of African, African American, and diaspora studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and professor emeritus of African studies at Howard University. He is a past president of the African Studies Association and the author of The Congo from Leopold to Kabila: A People’s History. More info →
Save 20% ($11.96)
US and Canada only
Availability and price vary according to vendor.
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
Thomas Sankara, often called the African Che Guevara, was president of Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in Africa, until his assassination during the military coup that brought down his government. Although his tenure in office was relatively short, Sankara left an indelible mark on his country’s history and development.
Govan Mbeki (1910–2001) was a core leader of the African National Congress, the Communist Party, and the armed wing of the ANC during the struggle against apartheid. Known as a hard-liner, Mbeki was a prolific writer and combined in a rare way the attributes of intellectual and activist, political theorist and practitioner.
Emperor Haile Selassie was an iconic figure of the twentieth century, a progressive monarch who ruled Ethiopia from 1916 to 1974. This book, written by a former state official who served in a number of important positions in Selassie’s government, tells both the story of the emperor’s life and the story of modern Ethiopia.After a struggle for the throne in 1916, the young Selassie emerged first as regent and then as supreme leader of Ethiopia.
A timely and original short biography reintroducing Fanon for a new generation of readers. Written with clarity and passion, Christopher J. Lee’s account argues for the pragmatic idealism of Frantz Fanon and his continued importance today.
Sign up to be notified when new African Studies titles come out.
We will only use your email address to notify you of new titles in the subject area(s) you follow. We will never share your information with third parties.