The "Tar Baby" Option: American Policy Toward Southern Rhodesia

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The "Tar Baby" Option: American Policy Toward Southern Rhodesia

By Anthony Lake
Columbia University Press (for the Carnegie Endowment for International Pea, 1976
316 pp. $17.50

This lucid and dispassionate analysis of recent U.S. policy toward Rhodesia constitutes the first major account of how our African policy is made in terms of bureaucratic politics. In the negative evolution of Rhodesian policy (i.e., the Byrd Amendment and Nixon-Kissinger policy of increased "communication" with white minority governments), the low priority of African issues for U.S. liberals and blacks was perhaps more important than the active efforts of the conservative pro-Rhodesian lobbies. In Lake's view this low priority requires a "clearly stated and easily understood" policy that can be carried out by the bureaucracy without constant, high-level supervision.

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