The Threat of Liberation

The Threat of Liberation : Imperialism and Revolution in Zanzibar

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The Threat of Liberation returns to the tumultuous years of the Cold War, when, in a striking parallel with today, imperialist powers were seeking to institute 'regime change' and install pliant governments.Using iconic photographs, declassified US and British documents, and in-depth interviews, Amrit Wilson examines the role of the Umma Party of Zanzibar and its leader, the visionary Marxist revolutionary, Abdulrahman Mohamed Babu. Drawing parallels between US paranoia about Chinese Communist influence in the 1960s with contemporary fears about Chinese influence, it looks at the new race for Africa's resources, the creation of AFRICOM and how East African politicians have bolstered US control. The book also draws on US cables released by Wikileaks showing Zanzibar's role in the 'War on Terror' in Eastern Africa today.The Threat of Liberation reflects on the history of a party which confronted imperialism and built unity across ethnic divisions, and considers the contemporary relevance of such strategies.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 121.92 x 215.9 x 20.32mm | 294.83g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New.
  • 0745334083
  • 9780745334080

Review quote

'Enables us not only to hear the voices of all those across the world but also those not in this world, but whose revolutionary spirit and spark continue to inspire us today. This book is a loud call to continue collectively challenging the present monster.' -- Sarbjit Johal, Awaaz Magazine 'A well-researched study by a respected author of long-standing' -- Abdulaziz Y. Lodhi, Professor Emeritus at the Dept. of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University 'Getting beyond the headlines and the official histories, this book offers an insightful and compelling analysis of the concrete struggle against neo-colonialism as it has played out, over the last several decades, in Zanzibar and what is now Tanzania' -- Bill Fletcher, Jr., co-editor of Claim No Easy Victories: The Legacy of Amilcar Cabral

'Amrit Wilson has tapped a wide range of sources to tell a story of Zanzibar in modern times. As interesting as the narrative she puts together is the vantage point from which she tells it' -- Mahmood Mamdani, Herbert Lehman Professor of Government and Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University
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About Amrit Wilson

Amrit Wilson is the author of Dreams, Questions, Struggles: South Asian Women in Britain (Pluto, 2006), The Challenge Road: Women in the Eritrean Revolution (1991) and US Foreign Policy and Revolution: the creation of Tanzania (Pluto, 1989) and the co-editor of The Future that Works: Selected writings of A.M.Babu (2002).
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Table of contents


1. Anti-Colonial Struggles - the Early Days

2. The British Transfer Power to the Sultan and his Allies

3. The Zanzibar Revolution and Imperialist Fears

4. The Union with Tanganyika

5. Karume's Despotic Rule

6. Trial in Zanzibar's Kangaroo Court

7. Zanzibar in the Neoliberal Era

8. Diplomats, Aid and US military Interventions


Appendix 1: Political Programme of the Umma Party

Appendix 2: Charge sheet for the Umma defendants


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Rating details

5 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 60% (3)
4 0% (0)
3 0% (0)
2 40% (2)
1 0% (0)
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