Angola: Anatomy of an Oil State, 2nd ed.

In This Review

Angola: Anatomy of an Oil State, 2nd ed.

By Tony Hodges
Indiana University Press, 2004
280 pp. $49.95
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As the United States tries to reduce its dependence on Middle Eastern oil, interest is rising in Angola's huge offshore reserves. Should it matter that Transparency International ranks Angola as the fourth most corrupt country in the world, or that the Committee to Protect Journalists calls its president one of the world's "ten worst enemies of the press?" Hodges, an experienced observer who has worked in Angola for the un, thinks so, and he marshals overwhelming evidence to construct a portrait of a country mired in cronyism and mismanagement. This updated edition of his informative 2001 survey of Angola (under a different title) takes into account the end of the country's civil war and the death of rebel chief Jonas Savimbi in 2002. Although these developments deprive government leaders of their main alibi for poor performance in social and economic development, nobody can truly hold them accountable except the Angolan people, who to date have shown little interest in doing so.