Blood River by Tim Butcher

Blood RiverBlood River tells the story of Tim Butcher’s attempt to recreate the journey of the Victorian explorer Henry Stanley to track the Congo river from Lake Tanganyika to the Atlantic.

While it is an excellent travel book, a genre I don’t generally read, it is much more than that. He examines the history of Belgian colonisation and relates it to the current inability of the post independence Congolese to create a functioning and cohesive state.

The casual violence and endemic corruption are genuinely shocking.

This book is an essential read for anyone interested in the legacy of colonialism and is highly recommended.

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