“The dynamics of narrative history making, competing local histories, the equivalence of individuals in the colonial process, together with the display of trophies of conquest, and considerations of their deaths as a never-completed transition are explored in this signficant and cutting-edge analysis.”
— Arthur P. Bourgeois, Governors State University
“As close as a thoroughly scholarly and intimately researched monograph gets to a veritable page-turner. In the hands of consummate narrator Roberts, this precisely engineered keyhole of a story opens a door on the ambiguities of colonial encounter. A Dance of Assassins blends historical writing and anthropological interpretation at its best, and tells it all like it was—and is—in all its complexity and nuance.”
— John Mack, University of East Anglia
“The beheading of the Tabwa ruler and slave trader Lusinga lwa Ng’ombe by warriors loyal to the Belgian commander Émile Storms sets the stage for A Dance of Assassins, a beautifully written and compelling account of the drama, intrigue, and pathos of the 'theatrical enterprise' that characterized colonial conquest and the making of histories in central Africa. Anthropologist Allen F. Roberts convincingly presents the entangled and contradictory perspectives that inform the dynamics of power and history and memory in colonial and post-colonial central Africa.
— Christine Mullen Kreamer, Smithsonian Institution