It is a region of the world that the vast majority of Americans would not be able to find on a map. But it has been the heart of one of the longest running, and deadliest, wars ever. It is the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and at one point it had the armies of several countries within its border. Still to this day it is plagued by a variety of ethnic militias, and yet accept for the occasional article you will hear nothing about this brutal conflict. In Consuming the Congo journalist Peter Eichstaedt goes inside where everything is still ungovernable to find out what is happening, how it started and what keep it going. He interviews the locals on the ground, and everything seems to point to the minerals that we use in our electronics.
“The air is thick and beery in this crowded mud-and-thatch hut.”
This is a fascinating book, but I feel that many people will pass over it, since this is not a topic that is often in the news. A conflict that has killed millions, all over different type of minerals, is ignored by the wider world. It is good, though the chapters on South Sudan/Darfur feel unneeded.