In This Review

Changing Fortunes: War, Diplomacy, And Economics In Southern Africa
Changing Fortunes: War, Diplomacy, And Economics In Southern Africa
By Robert Scott Jaster, Moeletsi Mbeki, Morley Nkosi, and Micha
Ford Foundation/Foreign Policy Association, 1991, 203 pp

This volume is a contribution to the South African Update Series initiated in the mid-1980s as a follow-up to South Africa: Time Running Out, a 1981 report of a foundation-sponsored commission on American policy in southern Africa. The Update Series, now overtaken by events and shorn of its focus on policy recommendations, nevertheless stands as a useful and authoritative retrospective on the 1980s. Changing Fortunes reviews South African and superpower relations to interventions in southern Africa. It looks at the mixed results of efforts by those states to lessen their economic dependence on South Africa, as well as the rise and retreat of "constructive engagement" as an American diplomatic strategy dictated by suddenly obsolescent Cold War priorities. A fourth chapter, adopted from a 1989 U.N. report, notes the sickening toll in lives lost directly and indirectly as a result of these power rivalries: 1.3 million dead in Angola and Mozambique alone, a high proportion of them children. Five landmark documents are included as appendices.