Perspectives on Southern Africa

William Finnegan, Author
William Finnegan, Author University of California Press $35 (325p) ISBN 978-0-520-07804-8
Paperback - 344 pages - 978-0-520-08266-3
Ebook - 325 pages - 978-0-520-91374-5
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According to a United Nations survey, nearly a million Mozambicans have died in the fighting between the Soviet-backed Frente de Libertacao (``Frelimo'') and the South African-sponsored Resistancia Nacional (``Renamo''). Some three million have been driven from their homes, while food shortages are becoming acute countrywide. This engrossing, sensitive account by the author of Dateline Soweto: Travels with Black African Reporters details the results of a savage war that began in 1975, a year after Mozambique gained independence from Portugal. Finnegan describes the distintegration of the national economy (``Money means little because there's nothing to buy'') and the near destruction of the country's transportation and communications systems. He introduces us to Mozambicans who reveal how the war has affected their lives. The book, portions of which originally appeared in the New Yorker , is a small classic about anarchy and the difficulties of nation building in postcolonial Africa. (Apr.)
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