Patrice Lumumba: Africa’s Lost Leader By Leo Zeilig


‘Patrice Lumumba, murdered at the age of 35 in 1961, was prime minister of newly independent Congo for just seven months. The Belgian imperialists, desperate to eliminate him from history, shot him and dissolved his body in acid. As the news came out, mass demonstrations stormed Belgian embassies across the world. Malcolm X described Lumumba as “the greatest black man who ever walked the African continent” – he was a new icon of anti-imperialist resistance. Leo Zelig charts the meteoric rise of a young man from humble rural origins to the heights of anti-imperialist struggle – negotiating with powerful people and inspiring the African masses….Lumumba is a martyr to the cause of African liberation and Leo Zelig has done him proud…..But, for socialists, this is not just an heroic and tragic story, it is a vital lesson for struggles today and into the future….Leo Zelig’s little book is an important addition to our history of the twentieth century and essential reading for students of, and activists in, the African liberation struggle.’ Simon Hester, Socialist Review

‘In this well-researched book Leo Zeilig has done the valuable job of bringing to life Patrice Lumumba as a man, as well as showing the political context of Africa in the 1950s in the dying days of colonialism. This book is the key to understanding why Lumumba became such a potent myth.’ Victoria Brittain

‘An excellent introduction to the political and personal life of the most enigmatic African leader of the 20th century.’ Ludo de Witte, author of The Assassination of Lumumba

Leo Zeilig coordinated the independent Media Centre in Zimbabwe during the Presidential Elections of 2002 and, prior on this, worked as a lecturer at University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal. He is currently a Research Fellow at the Centre of Sociological Research at the University of Johannesburg.

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