Engaging Africa

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Overview

Engaging Africa: Washington and the Fall of Portugal's Colonial Empire tells the story of how successive administrations—Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford—tried to maintain the confidence of their NATO ally, Portugal, while facilitating the process of decolonization in Angola and Mozambique. Ultimately becoming an epic battle of democracy versus dictatorship, African nationalism versus geo-strategic pre-eminence, and East versus West, this book, largely based on primary sources, tells the story of one of the Cold War's most intense confrontations.

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Editorial Reviews

H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online
Schneidman's book adds its weight to the developing argument and challenges historians to continue to delve more deeply into the problems in United States decolonization policy which have helped to shape the post-colonial world in which we live today.
— Daniel Byrne, University of Evansville
CHOICE
This excellent work reflects both its academic origins through extensive archival research and an insider view of policy changes and personality clashes. Summing Up: RECOMMENDED. Upper-division undergraduates and above.
— C.W. Hartwig, Arkansas State University
Foreign Affairs
This book, a must-read for anyone interested in decolonization or Cold War diplomacy, is the definitive diplomatic history of U.S.-Portuguese relations in the 1960s and 1970s, in the context of Portugal's 1974 revolution and the end of its African empire.
— Nicholas Van De Walle
H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online
Schneidman's book adds its weight to the developing argument and challenges historians to continue to delve more deeply into the problems in United States decolonization policy which have helped to shape the post-colonial world in which we live today.
— Daniel Byrne, University of Evansville
Choice
This excellent work reflects both its academic origins through extensive archival research and an insider view of policy changes and personality clashes. Summing Up: RECOMMENDED. Upper-division undergraduates and above.
— C.W. Hartwig, Arkansas State University
Gerald J. Bender
Portugal's departure from Africa, and the role that the United States played in this process, is an extraordinarily important and tragic episode of the Cold War era. Drawing on voluminous declassified official documents, combined with interviews with virtually all of the principal policy makers of the era, Witney Schneidman has written an excellent diplomatic history on the making of U.S. policy toward Africa. He also tells a fascinating story.
Susan E. Rice
Engaging Africa is a compelling story. For those interested in the history of U.S. policy toward Africa, this book is essential reading.
Ambassador Paul Hare
This is a superb diplomatic narrative of the competing national interests shaping U.S. policy towards Portugal and its colonial empire in Africa, when the 'winds of change' were blowing across the African continent. Schneidman provides a vivid description of the maneuverings behind the policy debates and colorful insights of the personalities involved during this important, often forgotten, moment in history.
Piero Gleijeses
This is the best study of U.S. relations with Portugal and Portuguese Africa from Kennedy through Ford, the difficult years when U.S. policymakers had to decide how best to respond to Lisbon's efforts to retain the Portuguese empire in Africa.
Foreign Affairs - Nicholas Van De Walle
This book, a must-read for anyone interested in decolonization or Cold War diplomacy, is the definitive diplomatic history of U.S.-Portuguese relations in the 1960s and 1970s, in the context of Portugal's 1974 revolution and the end of its African empire.
Frank C. Carlucci
Portuguese Africa and Portugal is a dramatic story, unique in the annals of history. Witney Schneidman has rendered a great service by taking on a neglected tale and telling it extremely well. . . . The description of postrevolutionary Portugal is as accurate as any I have seen.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online - Daniel Byrne
Schneidman's book adds its weight to the developing argument and challenges historians to continue to delve more deeply into the problems in United States decolonization policy which have helped to shape the post-colonial world in which we live today.
CHOICE - C.W. Hartwig
This excellent work reflects both its academic origins through extensive archival research and an insider view of policy changes and personality clashes. Summing Up: RECOMMENDED. Upper-division undergraduates and above.
Foreign Affairs
This book, a must-read for anyone interested in decolonization or Cold War diplomacy, is the definitive diplomatic history of U.S.-Portuguese relations in the 1960s and 1970s, in the context of Portugal's 1974 revolution and the end of its African empire. The 1974 military coup was motivated by unhappiness in the army over seemingly endless war in Portugal's African colonies, so rapid decolonization was an inevitable consequence. Schneidman argues that these events came as a surprise to the Nixon administration, its understanding of local dynamics clouded by an exaggerated fear of the communist threat in both Portugal and Africa. And he is critical of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's policies toward southern Africa, arguing that U.S. policy errors were in part to blame for the Angolan civil war, which did not end until 2002. Schneidman tells an engaging story, enlivened by personal interviews with many key figures and archival material he obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761828129
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 1/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 1,032,130
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Witney W. Schneidman is President, Schneidman and Associates International, an Africa-focused, Washington, D.C. trade and investment consulting firm. He also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the Clinton Administration.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Foreword Chapter 2 Preface Chapter 3 Map of Africa Chapter 4 Kennedy and Salazar: Africa Versus the Azores Chapter 5 Lyndon Johnson and Africa: The Right Policy for the Wrong Reasons Chapter 6 Nixon, Caetano, and Spínola: Partners in Uncertainty Chapter 7 Kissinger, Carlucci, and Portugal's Revolution Chapter 8 Angola's Transition to Independence Chapter 9 Conclusion Chapter 10 Appendix Chapter 11 List of Acronyms Chapter 12 Endnotes Chapter 13 Acknowledgments Chapter 14 Index

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