An oversimplified political debate has surrounded Mozambique's devastating downward spiral into civil war, destitution and dependency over the last decade. Conservatives in the West blame socialist excesses by the Frelimo government; liberals support Frelimo's explanation that Pretoria's interference-covert but well documented-is responsible. Both of these extensively researched studies demonstrate the complexity of Mozambique's tragedy. Vines' nonpolemical history of the murderous Renamo rebels pulls together many of the factual strands that must eventually form part of a balanced assessment, though he concedes that he has not fully fathomed the sociological reasons for the movement's durability. Hanlon, a veteran reporter on Mozambique, has written an angry book arguing that South Africa, Western governments, international lenders and aid agencies have in effect joined together with unity of purpose to recolonize Mozambique and ensure the failure of its experiments with socialist development.
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