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White Malice: The CIA and the Covert Recolonization of Africa

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A revelatory new history of post-colonial African independence movements shows how they were systematically undermined by one nation: the US. This is the untold story of how, over a few vital years, African Independence was strangled at birth. In 1958 in Accra, Ghana, the Hands Off Africa conference brought together the leading figures of African independence in a public sh A revelatory new history of post-colonial African independence movements shows how they were systematically undermined by one nation: the US. This is the untold story of how, over a few vital years, African Independence was strangled at birth. In 1958 in Accra, Ghana, the Hands Off Africa conference brought together the leading figures of African independence in a public show of political strength and purpose. It was inspired by the example of Ghana itself which, under the charismatic leadership of Kwame Nkrumah, had just thrown off the British colonial yoke - the first African nation to do so. It was moment heady with promise for independence movements across Africa, and for all those who believed colonialism was a moral aberration. Among the supporters of African independence were some of the leading figures of the American Civil Rights movement. Malcolm X was in Accra and Martin Luther King used Nkrumah's speech as the basis for his own "Free At Last" speech, so clear were the parallels between their own struggle for political equality in the US with that of the African nations. W. E. B. Du Bois moved to Ghana, inspired by the future of independent Africa. Yet among the many official messages of support received by the conference the United States was conspicuously quiet, despite its historic and public opposition to colonialism. Vice President Nixon did attend the celebrations in Ghana and asked a group of black people, "How does it feel to be free?"They answered: "We wouldn't know. We're from Alabama". The conference was also attended by a slew of strange societies, many of which were fronts, and behind them was the CIA. The CIA was in favor of the end of the British Empire but a pan-African independence movement, one susceptible to Soviet entreaties, looked like a security threat. Through original research and unparalleled insight, Susan Williams reveals how the CIA's baleful influence was felt from South Africa to the Congo as the agency prepared to move in as Africa's colonizers moved out.


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A revelatory new history of post-colonial African independence movements shows how they were systematically undermined by one nation: the US. This is the untold story of how, over a few vital years, African Independence was strangled at birth. In 1958 in Accra, Ghana, the Hands Off Africa conference brought together the leading figures of African independence in a public sh A revelatory new history of post-colonial African independence movements shows how they were systematically undermined by one nation: the US. This is the untold story of how, over a few vital years, African Independence was strangled at birth. In 1958 in Accra, Ghana, the Hands Off Africa conference brought together the leading figures of African independence in a public show of political strength and purpose. It was inspired by the example of Ghana itself which, under the charismatic leadership of Kwame Nkrumah, had just thrown off the British colonial yoke - the first African nation to do so. It was moment heady with promise for independence movements across Africa, and for all those who believed colonialism was a moral aberration. Among the supporters of African independence were some of the leading figures of the American Civil Rights movement. Malcolm X was in Accra and Martin Luther King used Nkrumah's speech as the basis for his own "Free At Last" speech, so clear were the parallels between their own struggle for political equality in the US with that of the African nations. W. E. B. Du Bois moved to Ghana, inspired by the future of independent Africa. Yet among the many official messages of support received by the conference the United States was conspicuously quiet, despite its historic and public opposition to colonialism. Vice President Nixon did attend the celebrations in Ghana and asked a group of black people, "How does it feel to be free?"They answered: "We wouldn't know. We're from Alabama". The conference was also attended by a slew of strange societies, many of which were fronts, and behind them was the CIA. The CIA was in favor of the end of the British Empire but a pan-African independence movement, one susceptible to Soviet entreaties, looked like a security threat. Through original research and unparalleled insight, Susan Williams reveals how the CIA's baleful influence was felt from South Africa to the Congo as the agency prepared to move in as Africa's colonizers moved out.

36 review for White Malice: The CIA and the Covert Recolonization of Africa

  1. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    Date reviewed/posted: May 22, 2021 Publication date: August 10, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #thirdwave (#fourthwave #fifthwave?) is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in e Date reviewed/posted: May 22, 2021 Publication date: August 10, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #thirdwave (#fourthwave #fifthwave?) is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. A revelatory history of how post-colonial African Independence movements were systematically undermined by one nation above all: the US. In 1958 in Accra, Ghana, the Hands Off Africa conference brought together the leading figures of African independence in a public show of political strength and purpose. Led by the charismatic Kwame Nkrumah, who had just won Ghana’s independence, his determined call for Pan-Africanism was heeded by young, idealistic leaders across the continent and by African Americans seeking civil rights at home. Yet, a moment that signified a new era of African freedom simultaneously marked a new era of foreign intervention and control. In White Malice, Susan Williams unearths the covert operations pursued by the CIA from Ghana to the Congo to the UN in an effort to frustrate and deny Africa’s new generation of nationalist leaders. This dramatically upends the conventional belief that the African nations failed to establish effective, democratic states on their own accord. As the old European powers moved out, the US moved in. Drawing on original research and recently declassified documents, and told through an engaging narrative, Williams introduces readers to idealistic African leaders and to the secret agents, ambassadors, and even presidents who deliberately worked against them, forever altering the future of a continent. Although I had never heard of any of the events in the book I nonetheless enjoyed reading it as I love history. The subject was presented in an appealing manner and I can see a lot of work went into researching and crafting this book so it appeals to lovers of history and/or people who know about what the CIA actually did along with the African leaders. (To me, they were treated like fools and let what happened to happen as they were afraid of the USA and the strength of the CIA!) I will recommend this book to friends, family, patrons and book cubs as it will be appreciated by lovers of history, especially black history .... ok, just a thought. Why did this book not come out during Black History month so I could put it on that book display??? As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧 because it will be a cold day in hell before the US government/CIA admits what they did!)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Zeb Kantrowitz

    When all of the French and British African colonies gained independence in the 1960s, Ghana was the first and most looking to make the continent free from Europe. The Congo (Leopoldville) didn't get off to the best start (Nkrumah wanted to help get rid of the Belgians) ending up with four different governments (in four places) and UN mission troops to try and help sort things out. These are the two countries that Williams focuses on. Ghana, unlike many new African nations, had a competent governm When all of the French and British African colonies gained independence in the 1960s, Ghana was the first and most looking to make the continent free from Europe. The Congo (Leopoldville) didn't get off to the best start (Nkrumah wanted to help get rid of the Belgians) ending up with four different governments (in four places) and UN mission troops to try and help sort things out. These are the two countries that Williams focuses on. Ghana, unlike many new African nations, had a competent government and was able to convert over to independence without a civil war breaking out. The British had worked hard to help train the bureaucracy, but not so well the military. Almost all of the Officers of the Army were ex-Brits and did not always agree with how Nkrumah wanted to rule. Ghana was one of the countries who contributed troops to the Congolese mission. The Congo on the other hand was trying to get started with very little help from Belgium, which withdrew all of the colonial administration after independence. But unlike the Brits, few locals had been trained at management (and above levels). So there were real questions as to who was going to run the country, Kasavubu was the choice of the Belgians and Lumumba the choice of the voters. At the same time the CIA was worried about the Soviets getting their hands on the premium uranium mine in Katanga province, which has announced it was breaking away as well as South Kasai (where the civil war is still raging). But the CIA wanted to get rid of Nkrumah who had the idea to united Africa as a "United States of Africa" with everyone working together to improve their countries without ending up in the West or Red Camps. So the CIA had a two pronged strategy, get rid of Nkrumah and place some one more amenable and compliant in his place who wouldn't insist on "helping" the other new nations create real government and cooperation across Africa. In the Congo they wanted to put Kasavubu in power so as to have a better chance of controlling the resources of Katanga province (uranium and diamonds). In the end they were able to create enough trouble for Nkrumah so that he had to give up power. They also were involved in the assassination of Lumumba, which let to the government of Mobuto and decades of misrule and dictatorship which has left the country in permanent civil war.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    Thank you to NetGalley, Perseus Books, and PublicAffairs for an advance copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Since I don’t feel comfortable tanking the rating of this book just because I couldn’t get into it, (which is a shame, I was really interested in this subject!) I’m going to leave it alone, but I probably would have given it one or two stars. To start, there’s a truly excessive number of quotations and initialisms. For the quotations, Williams quotes from dozens and dozens o Thank you to NetGalley, Perseus Books, and PublicAffairs for an advance copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Since I don’t feel comfortable tanking the rating of this book just because I couldn’t get into it, (which is a shame, I was really interested in this subject!) I’m going to leave it alone, but I probably would have given it one or two stars. To start, there’s a truly excessive number of quotations and initialisms. For the quotations, Williams quotes from dozens and dozens of people, and it’s hard to keep up with. And the initialisms! On every page there’s probably two or three different ones, and I had to keep going back to see what they stood for. I get why you can’t keep spelling out “All African People’s Conference” every time, but I personally could not keep up with them all. I ended up skipping around until about halfway through and then I DNF’d. Williams was incredibly thorough in her research but this reads more like a research paper, and it was hard to get into.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  5. 5 out of 5

    Wilfried Marcelo

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    Mike Thomas

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    Jessica Ellis

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    Andrew Nicholson

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    Jerome

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    Cool_guy

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    Adam Murphy

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    Reverenddave

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    Robert Brown

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    Mark

  36. 4 out of 5

    Sue Cass

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