Page 184. " We are going to make the Congo, for all of Africa, the heart of the light. "

Patrice Lumumba called for the Congo to be a light for all of Africa. This contradicted the prevalent image of the Congo as the heart of darkness, as in the title of Joseph Conrad's 1899 novella.  The question, of course, is whether it was truly "primitive savages" that made the Congo "dark" or the Belgian colonists with their greed and cruelty.

Heart of Darkness on Book Drum

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Page 186. " Only this and nothing more, the tell-tale heart, tale of the carnivore. "

This refers to the short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" (1843) by Edgar Allan Poe.

The story is narrated by a deranged man, bothered by the old man who lives with him. The narrator finally snaps. He stalks and murders the old man, and hides his remains below the floorboards. The police come to investigate but find nothing unusual, until the narrator begins to hear the heart of the old man beating inside his head--the tell-tale heart. The narrator cannot stand the pounding of the heart, and admits to his crime.


Page 197. " Nathan's company died, to the man, on the Death March from Bataan. "

Map of Bataan, Philipines
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeMap of Bataan, Philipines - Credit: seav
The Bataan peninsula is located in the Philippines.  

American and Filippino survivors of the World War II Battle of Bataan (1942) were forced to march sixty-five miles on foot over three days to a Japanese prison camp. This became known as the "Bataan Death March" because roughly 15,000 of the prisoners perished en route; they died from thirst, heat exhaustion, and the abuse of the Japanese soldiers, who whipped, beat, and shot anyone who stumbled.