A war for people. Civilians, mobility, and legitimacy in South-East Angola during the MPLA's war for independence
(History, cultural traditions and innovations in Southern Africa 23)
Köln: Köppe Verlag 2005
256 pp., Euro 34.80; ISBN 3-89645-362-9

Shortly before Angolan independence in 1975 nationalist groups (like the UNITA and the MPLA) started fighting which went on until 2002 when a peace treaty was signed. Using archival sources, secondary literature but also interviews with more than 90 informants Brinkman portrays the course of events from a close perspective.
##Most people from the South-East of Angola divide the war into three large phases, taking the two periods of peace as caesuras. Especially the first phase around Angolan independence was seen to mark an important change. Bevor independence the war had been directed against the Portuguese: after independence ’black people stated fighting black people´. Furthermore the methods of warfare radically changed: it was held that never before had killing, mutilation and torture taken on such enormous proportions. Before independence many horrific things had happened, but after 1975 violence became so endemic that concepts like ’culture of violence´ or ’culture of terror´ are apt to describe the situation. After the peace of 1992 the violence did not diminish, but related in a different way to the important categories of town and bush. The relations between town, village and bush had been influential in many ways in people´s lives and, as this book will show, any change in these relations had far-reaching consequences.##

Keywords: war in Angola, independence in Angola, urban-rural relations, rural-urban relation, violence in Angola, UNITA, MPLA, colonialism, civil war