Killing the Wizards: Wars of Power and Freedom from Zaire to South Africa

Alan Cowell, Author Simon & Schuster $22.5 (287p) ISBN 978-0-671-69629-0
Africa as a continent caught between hope and disaster bursts forth in the pages of Cowell's trenchant firsthand report. He covered southern Africa for Reuters and the New York Times from 1976 to 1987 and made a follow-up visit in 1990. From Zaire and Zimbabwe through Angola and Mozambique to Namibia, he found that insurgent groups--surrogates of Soviet and Chinese sponsors--blamed the West for offering them no choice. Under the banner of freedom and justice, liberation movements overlaid with socialist ideology often replaced white dictatorial elites with their own corrupt, authoritarian rule. In South Africa's struggle between Afrikaners and native blacks, Cowell detects hidden agendas on both sides: survival of an elite and acquisition of power, respectively. His top-notch, compelling reporter's notebook reveals a crazy quilt of durable dictators, small, dirty wars, Western imperialist intervention and violence born of revolutioanry impulses but ending as the very currency of political debate among Africans themselves. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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