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The crocodiles gathered

Neal Ascherson: Patrice Lumumba

4 October 2001
The Assassination of Lumumba 
by Ludo DeWitte, translated by Ann Wright and Renée Fenby.
Verso, 224 pp., £17, July 2001, 1 85984 618 1
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... When Patrice Lumumba was murdered, on 17 January 1961, white women all over Western Europe, North America and the ‘settler’ countries of Africa began to see him in their dreams. I have met women in London and Cape Town, Berlin and Los Angeles, who talked about this haunting. Sometimes he was a black priapic bogeyman; more often, he was a dark and reproachful presence who inspired unbearable guilt and terror ...

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