Rumba Rules The Politics of Dance Music in Mobutu s Zaire Book Reviews by ProQuest


More Info
									                                                                 Book Reviews 219

stalls, and that this may be the arena for the reproduction of Asen in the
                                                                        Susan Kart
                                                           Sarah Lawrence College
                                                              Bronxville, New York

Bob W. White. Rumba Rules: The Politics of Dance Music in Mobutu’s Zaire.
Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2008. xxiii + 300 pp. Photographs. Maps. Fig-
ures. Notes. Bibliography. Maps. Figures. Notes. Discography. Index. $84.95. Cloth.
$23.95. Paper.

Bob White’s study of the relationship between Congolese music and the
tumultuous politics of the three-decade regime of Mobutu Sese Sekou is
a masterful example of participant ethnography. It is a welcome addition
to the works of such scholars as Gary Stewart and Graeme Ewens, both of
whom have also written informative texts on Congolese music—the for-
mer having written an encyclopedic work on the music of the two Congos,
the latter a text on one of the giants of Congolese music, Franco Luambo
     White explained the central relevance of the topic for African studies
in a recent interview for The Voice of America’s African Beat (August 8,
2008), in which he noted that he settled on the research topic while in the
Comoros—where he was exposed to Congolese music for the first time by
Comorian enthusiasts who presented the music to him as “African music.”
This pan-African nature of the music and the force it carries throughout
the continent are, as White’s study makes clear, related to the ways in which
the music succeeds in insinuating itself into both mundane and more for-
mal conversations among diverse populations.
     The book is composed of eight chapters, and includes a brief discogra-
phy listing the musical works cited within the text. The chapters effectively
draw readers progressive
To top