The Wonga Coup

The Wonga Coup

3.65 (396 ratings by Goodreads)
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Old-fashioned colonial arrogance and newly minted corporate greed collide in The Wonga Coup, the story of the plot to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea, a tiny African nation roughly the size of Maryland. Humid, jungle-covered, and rife with unpleasant diseases, even some in the region call it "Devil Island." Its president in 2004, the year of the coup plot, was a man accused of cannibalism, witchcraft, mass murder, billion-dollar corruption, and general rule by terror. With so little on the surface to recommend it, why was it the target of a gaggle of battle-hardened mercenaries, traveling on an American-registered plane, flown originally by American pilots, adapted for military purposes and previously used by the National Guard? The motive lay beneath the sea bed: oil. Lots of it, perhaps as much as in Nigeria or Angola.The Wonga Coup plotters were inspired by Frederick Forsyth's The Dogs of War, a novel written in 1973 that handily, and not at all coincidentally, describes how to overthrow the government of a country all but identical to Equatorial Guinea. Real life, though, trumps fiction, as the plot in 2004 ensnares a British prime minister's son, the Spanish government, a major Washington, D.C. bank, and an old Etonian mercenary determined to go out with one final, spectacularly greedy act of international piracy.The Wonga Coup is adventurism run riot, in which antique colonial attitudes are resurrected by wealthy prospectors keen to fight a small private war for profit. It proves, if proof were needed again, that while it is power that corrupts, it is oil that corrupts absolutely.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 164 x 236 x 28mm | 598.74g
  • PublicAffairs,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1586483714
  • 9781586483715

About Adam Roberts

Adam Roberts is a staff correspondent of The Economist. For four years he was the publication's Johannesburg bureau chief, reporting from Madagascar, Congo, South Africa, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and--illegally--from Zimbabwe, as well as from many corners in between. He has also reported from South- East Asia, the Balkans, Europe and the United States. A former student of international politics at Oxford University and the London School of Economics, he is now based in London.
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Rating details

396 ratings
3.65 out of 5 stars
5 18% (72)
4 42% (165)
3 29% (116)
2 9% (35)
1 2% (8)
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