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In his in-depth and compelling study of perhaps the most famous of Portuguese colonial massacres, Mustafah Dhada explores why the massacre took place, what Wiriyamu was like prior to the massacre, how events unfolded, how we came to know about it and what the impact of the massacre was, particularly for the Portuguese empire. Spanning the period from 1964 to 2013 and complete with a foreword from Peter Pringle, this chronologically arranged book covers the liberation war in Mozambique and uses fieldwork, interviews and archival sources to place the massacre firmly in its historical context. The Portuguese Massacre of Wiriyamu in Colonial Mozambique, 1964-2013 is an important text for anyone interested in the 20th-century history of Africa, European colonialism and the modern history of war.
In his in-depth and compelling study of perhaps the most famous of Portuguese colonial massacres, Mustafah Dhada explores why the massacre took place, what Wiriyamu was like prior to the massacre, how events unfolded, how we came to know about it and what the impact of the massacre was, particularly for the Portuguese empire. Spanning the period from 1964 to 2013 and complete with a foreword from Peter Pringle, this chronologically arranged book covers the liberation war in Mozambique and uses fieldwork, interviews and archival sources to place the massacre firmly in its historical context. The Portuguese Massacre of Wiriyamu in Colonial Mozambique, 1964-2013 is an important text for anyone interested in the 20th-century history of Africa, European colonialism and the modern history of war.
The Wiriyamu massacre was one of several and perhaps most significant event presaging the end of Portuguese empire in colonial Mozambique. The story would have gone unnoticed had it not been for several key actors: survivors, priests, data-collectors, a data smuggler, journalists, a news editor, and an English clergyman at odds with Rome. This book of interviews with survivors portrays ordinary village life, and give details on a number of activities: rituals to beckon ancestral spirits from the dead; sorcerers working to produce rain; make-shift butchers and brewers marketing meat and beer to raise funds to celebrate the rains; nationalist guerrillas arriving to recruit villagers; and the massacres happening in the killing fields. Survivors allow us to live their ordeal, at times is painful to internalize. One witness recalls his escape from the bottom of a pyre, as he dodged bullets from a gauntlet of soldiers waiting to kill. It is spine-chilling to read of someone so young buried unconscious under the weight of bodies only to wake up to run because of the heat from the surrounding flames. Other survivors exhume memories of escape from burning huts slammed shut packed with people; adobe ovens cooking humans with exploding grenades. Church related interviews discuss missionary life, tussles with the hierarchy, the recording of the massacres almost immediately after they occurred, the struggle for accuracy on the numbers killed; and the fight to get the story out. Amidst the accounts, one by a journalist is, not surprisingly, elegant, detailed and self-reflective. Perhaps more importantly, we get a taste of what it was like for a journalist to wrestle an imperial behemoth with a bevy of journalists willing to travel far and wide to verify the story at source. One testimonial stands out the most. It is by a Burgos father, son of a bull-fighter, and a daredevil on a Suzuki motorbike as he drove to save a survivor from the jaws of the secret police. He survived to tell his story here, one that ultimately tapped open one of many tectonic fissures, that toppled the empire.
This history by celebrated Africanist David Birmingham begins in 1820 with the Portuguese attempt to create a third, African, empire after the virtual loss of Asia and America. In the nineteenth century the most valuable resource extracted from Angola was agricultural labor, first as privately owned slaves and later as conscript workers. The colony was managed by a few marine officers, by several hundred white political convicts, and by a couple of thousand black Angolans who had adopted Portuguese language and culture. The hub was the harbor city of Luanda which grew in the twentieth century to be a dynamic metropolis of several million people. The export of labor was gradually replaced when an agrarian revolution enabled white Portuguese immigrants to drive black Angolan laborers to produce sugar cane, cotton, maize and above all coffee. During the twentieth century Congo copper supplemented this wealth, by gem-quality diamonds, and by offshore oil. Although much of the countryside retained its dollar-a-day peasant economy, new wealth generated conflict which pitted white against black, north against south, coast against highland, American allies against Russian allies. The generation of warfare finally ended in 2002 when national reconstruction could begin on Portuguese colonial foundations.
Following the 1952 reorganization of the Portuguese Air Force from the army and naval air arms, Portugal now had an entity dedicated solely to aviation that would bring it into line with its new NATO commitment. As it proceeded to develop a competence in modern multiengine and jet fighter aircraft for its NATO role and train a professional corps of pilots, it was suddenly confronted in 1961 with fighting insurgencies in all three of its African possessions. This development forced it to acquire an entirely new and separate air force, the African air force, to address this emerging danger. This is the story of just how Portuguese leadership anticipated and dealt with this threat, and how it assembled an air force from scratch to meet it. The aircraft available at the time were largely castoffs from the larger, richer, and more sophisticated air forces of its NATO partners and not designed for counterinsurgency. Yet Portugal adapted them to the task and effectively crafted the appropriate strategies and tactics for their successful employment. The book explores the vicissitudes of procurement, an exercise fraught with anti-colonial political undercurrents, the imaginative modification and adaptation of the aircraft to fight in the African theaters, and the development of tactics, techniques, and procedures for their effective employment against an elusive, clever, and dangerous enemy. Advances in weaponry, such as the helicopter gun ship, were the outgrowth of combat needs. The acquired logistic competences assured that the needed fuel types and lubricants, spare parts, and qualified maintenance personnel were available in even the most remote African landing sites. The advanced flying skills, such as visual reconnaissance and air-ground coordinated fire support, were honed and perfected. All of these aspects and more are explored and hold lessons in the application of airpower in any insurgency today.
The new edition of Historical Dictionary of Mozambique covers the Bantu expansion; the arrival of the Portuguese navigators and their str competition with local African power centers and coastal Arab-Swahili trading towns; the trade cycles of gold, ivory, and slaves; the establishment of the semi-Africanized prazos along the Zambezi Valley; “pacification” campaigns; and the period of Portuguese weakness in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when vast tracts of land were rented to concessionary companies. In the late colonial period the Salazar dictatorship tried to reassert Portuguese power, but after ten years of armed struggle for national liberation, Mozambique gained its independence in 1975. The book contains a chronology, an introduction, appendixes, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 600 cross-referenced entries on important personalities, politics, economy, foreign relations, religion, and culture. This book is an excellent resource for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Mozambique.
Magnificent and Beggar Land is a powerful account of fast-changing dynamics in Angola, an important African state that is a key exporter of oil and diamonds and a growing power on the continent. Based on three years of research and extensive first-hand knowledge of Angola, it documents the rise of a major economy and its insertion in the international system since it emerged in 2002 from one of Africa's longest and deadliest civil wars. The government, backed by a strategic alliance with China and working hand in glove with hundreds of thousands of expatriates, many from the former colonial power, Portugal, has pursued an ambitious agenda of state-led national reconstruction. This has resulted in double-digit growth in Sub-Saharan Africa's third largest economy and a state budget in excess of total western aid to the entire continent. Scarred by a history of slave trading, colonial plunder and war, Angolans now aspire to the building of a decent society. How has the regime, led by President Jos? Eduardo dos Santos since 1979, dealt with these challenges, and can it deliver on popular expectations? Soares de Oliveira's book charts the remarkable course the country has taken in recent years.

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