Angola's civil war was the longest and bloodiest in Africa. Once the battleground for a proxy war between the Cold War superpowers, the country was supposed to become a model for a smooth transition from armed conflict to democracy. The government, previously backed by the Soviet Union and Cuba, and the UNITA rebels, who once enjoyed American and South African support, wouAngola's civil war was the longest and bloodiest in Africa. Once the battleground for a proxy war between the Cold War superpowers, the country was supposed to become a model for a smooth transition from armed conflict to democracy. The government, previously backed by the Soviet Union and Cuba, and the UNITA rebels, who once enjoyed American and South African support, would exchange bullets for ballots - but it all went wrong ... UNITA's Jonas Savimbi rejected his defeat in the country's first ever free elections and plunged Angola back into war. The international community could only wring its hands, eventually negotiating a fragile new peace agreement. For millions of Angolans, however, the effects of a quarter of a century of violence have proved to be more enduring than the taste of peace.Karl Maier covered the Angolan conflict for almost 10 years as a correspondent for the Independent and Washington Post, and provides a fascinating analysis of the realities behind the conflict as well as a vivid eye-witness account of the devastation it brought. Whether speaking to Cuban troops at the largest battle in Africa since El Alamein, to nurses, black-market traders or aid workers, Maier views Angola's strife with a rare sympathy for the ordinary people caught in the crossfire. Sceptical of both sides' promises and lies, his is a classic account of one of the civil wars that continue to plague Africa. This updated new edition covers the ending of the war with Savimbi's death and the massive corruption and other problems that have arisen since then. Armed conflict has been replaced by an oil boom that has benefited only the country's elite - as Maier observes, the vast majority ofAngolans now face 'a war of neglect by their rulers'....
|Title||:||Angola: Promises and Lies|
|Number of Pages||:||224 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Angola: Promises and Lies Reviews
2.5 stars.I'm somewhat torn about this one. So it's about Angola, which is just novel enough to make any book about it worth something. But at the same time , I didn't thing it was a great book as far as writing and whatnot.Don't get me wrong, it was fascinating to read a journalists account of Angola in the mid 1990s when the country went from war to peace and hope right back to war. It really was an interesting time in the politics and civil war of Angola, and Maier was there. Way he wrote it, the timeline was confusing often - where you think you're reading about onetime, and then it changes a day out don't find out you're reading about an event that is not in sequence until a page or two later. So that was a bit frustrating. So too, the stories were something of a jumble at times, which makes me think that someone who isn't a follower of Angola with at least smoke baseline knowledge might get somewhat confused. But then again, maybe lay readers aren't clamoring for books about Angola and it's just us Africa nerds. Overall, it was a very interesting book but I think it could have been written in a more straightforward fashion, which is a bit surprising since a journalist wrote it and they are generally good wt writing coherent timeline narratives. Anyway, worth reading, but not the best book on the Angolan civil war out there, but does provide a really nice snapshot of some areas in the mid nineties.
Having recently traveled to Angola, I had an opportunity to see for myself the ravages of war -- and the potential and promise of recovery. War damage is visible everywhere, especially out in the largely depopulated countryside. But Angola has oil, and with oil comes money, and with money comes the possibility of rebuilding. I was told there are now more construction cranes in Luanda than any other city in the world -- an entire city is being built as I write these words. Income inequality is stark and broad, but at least commerce is returning, and the thousands of street vendors are making at least a little bit of money.Karl Maier's book does an excellent job describing the quarter century of civil war that got Angola where it is today. Especially illuminating is his description of Angola as a Cold War-era proxy war. The Soviets (and Cubans) armed and trained the Angola government forces, and we in the West saw to it that the insurgents -- with the ruthless and determined Jonas Savimbi as their leader -- were always well-armed and well-funded. The war went on long after the Cold War ended -- We'd by that time decided that the Angolan government was staunchly Marxist with or without the Soviet Union, and no one, least of all Savimbi, felt shaking hands and declaring peace for all Angolans. The war ended only when Savimbi was finally hunted down and killed in a hail of gunfire by the government forces who'd pursued him for twenty-five years. Karl Maier's writing is excellent, it's fact-based, and it tells the story (pretty much) objectively. I recommend this book to anyone interested in modern African history, because Angola has such a fascinating, if horrifying, story to tell.
This is not an easy book to read. Karl Maier, an american-born journalist takes us to Angola in the midst of its civil war. The book starts with a trip to Cuito Cuanavale, the "african Stalingrad" and site of the largest battle on african soil since Kasserine. While not going into detail on the history of the country since its independence, Maier does explain the outlines of the conflict, tracing its roots back to colonialism and its consequences.Most of the rest of the book deals with the Bicesse peace accord and run-up to the elections of 1992, and the horror that resumes as UNITA refuses to accept the results and the fighting starts anew.Maier describes in vivid detail what it is like to live in the midst of civil war. He takes no sides, except that of those caught in the crossfire. He has the dark humor of one that has seen too much death, and does not shy away from exposing the hypocrisy of all sides, including the "international community".I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding the angolan civil war.