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"Magnificent and Beggar Land" reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement

Ricardo Soares de Oliveira's book Magnificent and Beggar Land: Angola since the Civil War has been reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement (May 2016).

The review says, "Ricardo Soares de Oliveira’s Magnificent and Beggar Land charts an extraordinary oil-fuelled state-building project. With an eye for realpolitik, de Oliveira is a deft guide through Angola’s phoenix-like rise. His real achievement is not merely to have obtained such rich source material from a country where it is notoriously difficult to speak critically. Rather, it is to have analysed the crafting of an African petro-state with an ethnographic sense of detail and a political scrutiny that is global in its reach, closely woven to Angola’s historical roots."

It concludes by saying "Magnificent and Beggar Land is a story of political autonomy, and an important counter to narratives of African dependency, but there is no happy ending. The Angolan miracle, Soares de Oliveira concludes, is “largely based on sand”."

The review is available to read here (behind a paywall): http://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/private/no-happy-ending/

Prof Ricardo Soares de Oliveira is Professor of the International Politics of Africa, Official Fellow of St Peters College