In This Review

Destructive Engagement: Southern Africa At War
Destructive Engagement: Southern Africa At War
Edited by Phyllis Johnson and David Martin
Zimbabwe Publishing House for the Southern African Research and Documentati, 1986, 378 pp

In this collection, a group of southern African insiders again seem to rely on a narrow range of sources as they tell the other side of the story. The authors, who include a member of the staff of Angola's president and the information officer of SWAPO's London office, depict a conspiratorial underside to the conflicts emanating from South Africa, originating largely in clandestine actions of the Republic but also involving Western collusion. Leaving out a good deal but also marshaling information that has seldom received any significant attention outside the countries involved, they make strong, if one-sided, cases for the actions and reactions of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Angola against South African-supported destabilization. Particularly telling is the depiction of the murky origins and brutal operating style of the Mozambique National Resistance; less so a story of Zimbabwe's internal troubles which virtually ignores government excesses and alleged atrocities.