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The Mechanics
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Event Wed Nov 02 2011

Journalist Peter Eichstaedt on Congo's Conflict Minerals

Peter Eichstaedt can't help it. He has to write about what everyone else ignores.

Over the next couple days, he'll be promoting two of his recent books through discussions at the University of Chicago (details below). Both touch upon "humanitarian disasters" that, despite their toll on human life, go largely unnoticed by the media. One of these books, Consuming the Congo: War and Conflict Minerals in the World's Deadliest Place, ultimately began with his time working for the Uganda Radio network and the Institute of War and Peace Reporting.

"The daily news media focus only on the event of the day, and rarely any context. Why is something happening? As if things happen in a vacuum. It's not that difficult, truly, to put a couple of paragraphs or sentences about background in some of these stories but most news reporters don't."

When confronted by the fighting he found in Uganda, he realized he was on his own in finding out what was going on. What he learned was that, although a relatively low percentage of the world's supply of some minerals necessary for our most necessary and addictive technology (cell phones, laptops, etc.) comes from eastern Congo, this region has suffered a staggering human cost: the greatest loss of life since World War II.

Consuming the Congo painstakingly details the ins and outs of the tribal conflicts in the region, the flight over minerals, and the complicity of not only the corrupt Congolese government, but of all those who have allowed this tragedy to continue.


Details:

Consuming the Congo — discussion, book-signing, Q & A
Friday, 4 November, noon-1:30pm.
Pick Hall Lounge
University of Chicago
5828 S. University Avenue


Pirate State: Inside Somalia's Terrorism at Sea
— discussion, book-signing, Q & A
Thursday, 3 November, 6-7:30pm
International House
University of Chicago
1414 E. 59th Street

For additional information click here, or email jbender@uchicago.edu.

 
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