Into Africa

Stringer: A Reporter's Journey in the Congo

Anjan Sundaram was studying mathematics and headed for a job at Goldman Sachs when he decided he'd just had enough. Instead, he went to the Congo. There, with no experience, limited funds and only a spare room in the house of a Congolese family, Sundaram got a job as a stringer with The Associated Press and set out to work as a journalist in one of the most violent places on Earth. He chronicles his experiences in Stringer: A Reporter's Journey in the Congo (Doubleday, $25.95), including a risky trip upriver from Kinshasa to interview a warlord and his decision to stay to report on the elections and the disorder that erupted after. Sundaram is fascinating, especially because he seems so naive. This is really the only sort of book an outsider can write about the Congo, and it's done beautifully.