A review of Blood River:
For the vast Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – formerly named the Congo Free State, the Belgian Congo and Zaire – is not an undeveloped country, rather an undeveloping country. During the colonial period, an efficient national infrastructure was built (at horrific human cost – one government commission estimated that the population of the Congo Free State was "reduced by half" as a consequence of exploitation and diseases during those years). By 1960 – the year of independence from Belgium – the country boasted regular national rail and riverboat services, as well as 111,971km of well-maintained roads. Today less than 1,000km of roads remain.