In This Review

Angola: Struggle for Peace and Reconstruction
Angola: Struggle for Peace and Reconstruction
By Inge Tvedten
Westview Press, 1997, 166 pp

This concise but solid new volume in Westview's series of African country studies offers an overview of Angolan history, politics, society, and economics. Angola was a victim both of the Cold War and the Cold War's end, first as a strategically located host to a superpower proxy war, then as sharply devalued goods abandoned by both rival suitors. Add the unquenchable personal ambitions of rebel leader Jonas Savimbi and the ineptitude bequeathed to the post-independence regime in Luanda by centuries of Portuguese misrule, and the outcome was hardly surprising: a country devastated by war, social dislocation, poverty, and mismanagement. Angola's abundance of natural resources, the author argues, ought to guarantee its future recovery, but not unless the country's fractious parties work out a political settlement and make it stick. Neither the United States nor the United Nations can be proud of its record, but it is not too late for constructive input, particularly in the nongovernmental organization sector.