Partner to History: The U. S. Role in South Africa's Transition to Democracy / Edition 1

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A remarkable book about a remarkable time, Partner to History reveals the role played by U.S. diplomacy in South Africa's surprisingly successful transition from apartheid to democracy. Princeton Lyman, the U.S. ambassador during the transition, makes clear that America didn't "own" the transition process-the South Africans did. But U.S. involvement was active and intense. And it made a difference.

Lyman tells an enthralling story of how Washington policymakers and the American embassy used U.S. influence, economic assistance, and political support to help end apartheid without sparking civil war. The book offers candid assessments both of U.S. policy deliberations and of the leading players in the unfolding, unpredictable drama. It takes us behind the diplomatic scenes as well as onto the public stage, as American diplomats strove to facilitate dialogue, encourage reconciliation, and dissuade potential spoilers.

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Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs
As ambassador to South Africa from 1992 to 1995, Lyman improved U.S.-South African relations markedly while conducting "facilitative diplomacy" to support the country's negotiated passage to majority rule. The presence of talented South African negotiators of all races made outside mediators unnecessary, but Lyman found ways to help both sides mobilize international backing, dissuade spoilers, and marshal resources for a successful transitional election in 1994. One chapter summarizes policy issues affecting relations between the United States and Pretoria since 1994. Although valuable in offering the perspective of an important diplomatic player, the book is not an accurate guide to the details of South African history before 1992 and misspells many South African names. Lyman also does himself and history a disservice by puffing the southern Africa policies of the Reagan administration as correct, albeit "misunderstood." He concedes that Washington offered the apartheid government a "respite" in the 1980s but omits that this respite gave Pretoria carte blanche to slaughter thousands and impoverish millions in Angola and Mozambique as a means of curbing guerrilla incursions by the African National Congress.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781929223367
  • Publisher: United States Institute of Peace Press (USIP Press)
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384

Meet the Author

Princeton N. Lyman was U.S. ambassador to South Africa from 1992 through 1995. Previously, he served as ambassador to Nigeria and assistant secretary of state for international affairs. A senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace in 1999-2000, he is currently executive director, Global Interdependence Initiative, Aspen Institute.
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Table of Contents

1 Who Owns This Negotiation? 3
2 Apartheid 9
3 Passion, Passivity, and Pragmatism: The Complex American Response 23
4 The Wind Shifts 45
5 From Mediation to Facilitation 57
6 Lending Weight to the Process 77
7 The Buthelezi Dilemma 127
8 Looking Left and Right 147
9 Denouement 181
10 A New Dawn 213
11 A New Relationship 225
12 Lessons Learned - and Relearned 263
App Speech by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown, November 30, 1993 285
Notes 291
Index 323
About the Author 345
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