David Van Reybrouck is a cultural historian, archaeologist and writer. He studied in Leuven and Cambridge and finished his PhD in Leiden. In 2001 he debuted with 'The Plague', for which he received the Debut Prize 2002. In 2008 he published 'Plea for Populism', for which he received the Jan Hanlo Essay Prize and the 2009 Flemish Critics Culture Prize. 'Congo, a story' appeared in May 2010, just before the fiftieth anniversary of Congolese independence. Currently van Reybrouck holds the Cleveringa chair which was established in 1970 by Leiden University in commemoration of the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945, and in memory of Cleveringa’s action.