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It took twenty-three years of armed struggle before Namibia could gain its independence from South Africa in March 1990. Swapo’s victory was remarkable in the face of an overwhelmingly superior enemy. How this came about, and at what cost, is the subject of this outstanding study that is based on unpublished documents and extensive interviews with a large range of the key activists in the struggle.
The story that emerges is one of endurance and heroism in face of atrocious brutality on the part of the colonialists. But it reveals that it was also one of painful compromises imposed by the conditions of the struggle and the subordination of internal democracy within the liberation movement to the single goal of military and diplomatic victory.
The study will be of keen interest to everyone concerned with southern Africa. Students of armed liberation struggle generally will find much to challenge received wisdom. The sheer human interest of the interviews makes the book attractive to a wide readership.
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Colin Leys and John S. Saul, who led the research team, have been working on development in eastern, central, and southern Africa for over thirty years. Their books are numerous and have been deeply influential.Review:
... Leys and Saul write about the past with a present agenda in mind. They wish to understand why a party which proclaimed socialism for so long has, since coming to power, followed a capitalist path and adopted what they call a neo-colonial economic strategy. They find the answer to lie, in part, in the suppression of democracy within SWAPO, which they attribute mainly to the brutalising effects of the war. And so they speak of the outcome as liberation without democracy, on the grounds that the present order is not really democratic because it does not empower the masses. And they reject any Robespierre-like justification that the terror used served a just purpose, in this case the ejection of South Africa from Namibia. - Christopher Saunders in SOUTH AFRICAN HISTORICAL JOURNAL This volume needs to be widely read and discussed within southern Africa and beyond. It is written with a clarity and concern for the people of this region, both of which make it attractive and engaged reading material. JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN STUDIES I can enthusiastically recommend the published outcome of the research project led by Leys and Saul for its insights into Namibia's struggle, as well as the politics of the region and the new state.' - Eve Sandberg, Oberlin College in JOURNAL OF MODERN AFRICAN STUDIES Le livre de Colin Leys et John Saul, mal accueilli par le gouvernement namibien, analyse pourtant le plus souvent de sympathie la remarquable transformation du movement de liberation de la SWAPO (Organisation de Lib ration du Sud-Ouest africain) en un parti de gouvernement post-colonial, mais il ne tait pas les pages honteuses de l'histoire du mouvement, qui avait etabli un regime de terreur dans certains de ses camps en Zambie et en Angola. - Victoria Brittain in LE MONDE DIPLOMATIQUE ... with little doubt the best researched, if at times controversial, book on Namibia's recent political history to appear since independence ... also a wealth of other valuable information and analysis here on key aspects of the struggle which have received little if any attention from historians and analysts so far. - Graham Hopwood in THE NAMIBIAN
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Book Description Ohio University Press, 1995. Condition: Very Good. Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Seller Inventory # GRP91020156