Stuart Reid In Person for His New Book "The Lumumba Plot"

Join us at Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore on Tuesday, October 17th at 7 pm when author STUART REID comes to discuss and sign copies of his new book The Lumumba Plot: The Secret History of the CIA and a Cold War Assassination. Reid's book is a spellbinding work of history that reads like a Cold War spy thriller—about the U.S.-sanctioned plot to assassinate the democratically elected leader of the newly independent Congo. Stuart will be joined in conversation by ADAM HOCHSCHILD. (Stuart's photo by Mark Jaworski)

To attend this free event, you must register on Eventbrite or in the store.  Click here to preorder a copy of The Lumumba Plot

It was supposed to be a moment of great optimism, a cause for jubilation. The Congo was at last being set free from Belgium—one of seventeen countries to gain independence in 1960 from ruling European powers. At the helm as prime minister was charismatic nationalist Patrice Lumumba. Just days after the handover, however, the Congo’s new army mutinied, Belgian forces intervened, and Lumumba turned to the United Nations for help in saving his newborn nation from what the press was already calling “the Congo crisis.” Dag Hammarskjöld, the tidy Swede serving as UN secretary-general, quickly arranged the organization’s biggest peacekeeping mission in history. But chaos was still spreading. Frustrated with the fecklessness of the UN and spurned by the United States, Lumumba then approached the Soviets for help—an appeal that set off alarm bells at the CIA. To forestall the spread of Communism in Africa, the CIA sent word to its station chief in the Congo, Larry Devlin: Lumumba had to go.

Within a year, everything would unravel. The CIA plot to murder Lumumba would fizzle out, but he would be deposed in a CIA-backed coup, transferred to enemy territory in a CIA-approved operation, and shot dead by Congolese assassins. Hammarskjöld, too, would die, in a mysterious plane crash en route to negotiate a cease-fire with the Congo’s rebellious southeast. And a young, ambitious military officer named Joseph Mobutu, who had once sworn fealty to Lumumba, would seize power with U.S. help and misrule the country for more than three decades. For the Congolese people, the events of 1960–61 represented the opening chapter of a long horror story. For the U.S. government, however, they provided a playbook for future interventions.

STUART A. REID is an executive editor of Foreign Affairs. He has written for The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg Businessweek, Politico Magazine, Slate, and other publications. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and daughter.

ADAM HOCHSCHILD is the New York Times bestselling author of eleven books, including King Leopold's Ghost and To End All Wars (both finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award) and Bury the Chains (a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and PEN USA Literary Award). He lives in Berkeley, California.

THIS EVENT is free but pre-registration is requested. Registration ends at 5:00 pm on October 17th.

BECAUSE SEATING is limited, please register only if you plan to attend.

DUE TO SPACE limitations, we may not be able to accommodate every person at an event, so early registration is encouraged.

WALK-INS will be accommodated only if space allows.

WE ASK that attendees arrive between 6:45 and 7:00 PM for the event.

PLEASE leave your non-support companion animals at home.

OUR shared restrooms are not accessible after 6:30 PM, please plan accordingly.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore
2904 College Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
Pre-Order Now Badge
The Lumumba Plot: The Secret History of the CIA and a Cold War Assassination By Stuart A. Reid Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524748814
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Knopf - October 17th, 2023