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Bloody-Minded

Basil Davidson, 9 September 1993

High Noon in Southern Africa: Making Peace in a Rough Neighbourhood 
by Chester Crocker.
Norton, 533 pp., £19.95, May 1993, 0 393 03432 1
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Small Wars, Small Mercies: Journeys in Africa’s Disputed Nations 
by Jeremy Harding.
Viking, 441 pp., £17.99, May 1993, 0 670 83391 6
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Bridging the Zambesi: A Colonial Folly 
by Landeg White.
Macmillan, 233 pp., £40, March 1993, 0 333 55170 2
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... parties thought. But they thought it in vain. The reasons are very clearly displayed in Chester Crocker’s detailed review of these years, as seen from an unwaveringly Reaganite standpoint. What Crocker gives us is the record, unalloyed by any temptation to doubt his own wisdom, of State Department policy ...

A Bone in the Throat

Piero Gleijeses: Castro, 19 August 2004

The Real Fidel Castro 
by Leycester Coltman.
Yale, 335 pp., £25, October 2003, 0 300 10188 0
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... years. The major published source is the memoir of Reagan’s assistant secretary for Africa, Chester Crocker, who explains the outcome – the independence of Namibia – largely in terms of US patience, skill and wisdom. But a different explanation emerges from an analysis of newly declassified Cuban and US documents. In April 1987, the US ...

World Policeman

Colin Legum, 20 November 1986

With the Contras: A Reporter in the Wilds of Nicaragua 
by Christopher Dickey.
Faber, 327 pp., £12.50, September 1986, 9780571146048
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Jonas Savimbi: A Key to Africa 
by Fred Bridgland.
Mainstream, 513 pp., £14.95, October 1986, 0 906391 99 7
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... a position described by the State Department’s Assistant Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Dr Chester Crocker: ‘This past year we have seen the MPLA government’ in Angola, strongly backed by Moscow and Havana, pursue an escalation of the war. They sought to reverse two years of Unita gains and deal a body blow to the movement. They failed. It is ...

Apartheid’s Last Stand

Jeremy Harding, 17 March 2016

Magnificent and Beggar Land: Angola since the Civil War 
by Ricardo Soares de Oliveira.
Hurst, 291 pp., £25, March 2015, 978 1 84904 284 0
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A Short History of Modern Angola 
by David Birmingham.
Hurst, 256 pp., £17.99, December 2015, 978 1 84904 519 3
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Visions of Freedom: Havana, Washington, Pretoria and the Struggle for Southern Africa 
by Piero Gleijeses.
North Carolina, 655 pp., £27.95, February 2016, 978 1 4696 0968 3
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A General Theory of Oblivion 
by José Eduardo Agualusa, translated by Daniel Hahn.
Harvill, 245 pp., £14.99, June 2015, 978 1 84655 847 4
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In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre 
by Lara Pawson.
I.B. Tauris, 271 pp., £20, April 2014, 978 1 78076 905 9
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Cuito Cuanavale: Frontline Accounts by Soviet Soldiers 
by G. Shubin, I. Zhdarkin et al, translated by Tamara Reilly.
Jacana, 222 pp., £12.95, May 2014, 978 1 4314 0963 1
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... the show. The Reagan administration had its own plan, known as ‘linkage’, thought up by Chester Crocker, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs. He sketched it out to the South Africans shortly after he took office: no independence for Namibia until all foreign troops had left Angolan soil. In conversations with Pretoria, whose ...

Mandela: Death of a Politician

Stephen W. Smith: Mandela, the Politician, 9 January 2014

... between Cuba, Angola and South Africa, negotiated by Ronald Reagan’s point man for Africa, Chester Crocker, drew the Cold War to an end in Southern Africa, well before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Fourteen months after the agreement, Mandela was released. It is remarkable, but seldom acknowledged, that the superpowers walked away from ...

Ça va un peu

Adam Shatz: Congo, 23 October 2014

Congo: The Epic History of a People 
by David Van Reybrouck.
Fourth Estate, 656 pp., £25, March 2014, 978 0 00 756290 9
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... cooking for Mobutu on his yacht. ‘Mobutu played us, and his environment, like a Stradivarius,’ Chester Crocker, the former US assistant secretary of state for Africa, said. ‘If we dared to mention IMF and World Bank concerns it would be: “Do you really expect me to think you’re asking these questions of Israel and Egypt? Perhaps I should convert ...

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