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Departures Podcast with Michela Wrong

Near the end of this episode, host of the Departures podcast Robert Amsterdam tells his guest, “This is perhaps the best book I’ve ever read on Africa, and I’ve read a lot of books.”

Such is the esteem we hold for Michela Wrong, a British journalist who has covered Africa for decades for outlets such as the BBC and the Financial Times. Her latest book, “Do Not Disturb: The Story of a Political Murder and an African Regime Gone Bad,” tells the inside story of the authoritarian regime of President Paul Kagame in Rwanda through the lens of one specific murder case – the 2013 killing of Patrick Karegeya, the former head of external intelligence, and extrapolating that investigation to reveal so much more about the country and the region.

Wrong’s book also serves as a sledgehammer to a number of myths that tend to be held up about Rwanda – not just the enormous chasm between its darling status among donor organizations and its reality as an apartheid state, but also crucial facts about Hutu victims of the genocide, the shooting down of the 1994 flight carrying the then-presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, and the “Potemkin village” aspect of Rwanda’s economic transformation.