I don’t know how many Congolese the Mobutu regime murdered or maimed. Googling shows little. It seems to be unknown. Wars added to the toll as well.
This book was certainly readable and fairly well put together. But I think it missed telling more of a compelling story. Part of that, the author admits, is the sheer lack of information from those natives who lived in the Congo. It’s hard to tell their personal story if their history has all but been rubbed out.
But there is very little trying to get into the mind of Leopold. The author notes that there is nothing in his pampered, easy life to suggest he would ever be another Hitler or Stalin.
I think it helps to understand (something the author’s book was weak on) that back then people looked at Africans with as much disdain as the Left does on unborn babies. (The same attitude seems to occur between and betwixt many African tribes as well.) They simply don’t count and one can do what they want with them, whatever is convenient.
And people easily go along with this. People can easily adjust their “normal” to some very pernicious things. That’s why I say, Be cautious how far up Trump’s rear end anyone places his or her nose. If Trump is the new normal then god help us all. But he pre-dates a normal that was even worse.
I would recommend this book to history enthusiasts. It certainly includes a fair amount of history regarding subsidiary things. But do not read this if you wish to maintain a cheery disposition toward human nature. That’s not gonna happen.