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The Wonga coup : guns, thugs, and a ruthless determination to create mayhem in a
Robert Adams
Adult Nonfiction DT620.8 .R63 2006

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The most terrifying thing about this chronicle of a failed coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea is that it's not a Graham Greene novel but a true story. Roberts, an Economist staffer, chronicles the plot by foreign mercenaries and merchants to topple the country's brutal dictatorship solely for the "wonga" (British slang for "money, usually a lot of it"). An irresistibly lurid tale is peopled with bellicose profiteers, particularly of the neocolonialist sort from Europe and South Africa, with long histories of investment in oil, diamonds and war-for-profit. Among these self-styled gentleman adventurers are Margaret Thatcher's son, Sir Mark Thatcher, and "rag-and-bone intelligence men" who linger in hotel bars, "picking up scraps of information... selling them on to willing buyers, whether corporate or government." The audacity of the coup's planners is almost admirable, though Roberts rightly chastises them for their oil-soaked greed. As he lifts the curtain to the backrooms of power in postcolonial Africa, the reader finds that not much has changed on the continent since 1618, when the "Company of Adventurers of London Trading to the Ports of Africa" became the first private company to colonize Africa for profit. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In 1974, Frederick Forsyth wrote the best seller The Dogs of War about a fictitious coup on a small island nation off the west coast of Africa. Thirty years later, a small, wealthy group of South African and British men used that novel as a blueprint for carrying out what its pages described. Equatorial Guinea was beset with two horrible dictators after gaining independence in 1968. The first caused nearly one-third of the population to flee or die violently, while the second (the first's nephew) has ruled with a similar iron fist up to the present day. A staff correspondent for the Economist, Roberts here offers a well-researched book on the attempt to place an exiled Guinean in charge. Switching locales from London to Pretoria and numerous places in between, he leaves no stone unturned. He interviewed many people involved one way or another in this greedy quest (large oil deposits were discovered in Equatorial Guinea in the 1970s). He researched phone and bank records, newspaper files, and government documents. The final product is a jaw-dropping, first-rate piece of nonfiction. For academic collections and those interested in political intrigue.--James Thorsen, Madison Cty. Schs., Weaverville, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

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