The Africa Report called Lara Pawson’s book In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre, “a thorough examination of a confusing and shattering event in Angola’s history." Writer Teju Cole praised the book for its “unflagging intelligence, fearlessness and compassion.”
In the Name of the People chronicles the violent purge that took place following the politician Nito Alves’ failed coup on May 27, 1977. Fearing factionalism within the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola, the leaders of the party went on a campaign of systematic arrests, torture and ultimately, the killing of thousands of Angolans.
In a series of revealing interviews, Lara Pawson talked to eyewitnesses, victims and even perpetrators of the massacre to investigate one of the biggest taboos in Angolan contemporary history. Pawson’s book about the 1977 massacre comes in the backdrop of another reported massacre in Angola’s central region of Mount Sumi that took place earlier this year.
In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre was long listed for The Orwell Prize and is published by I.B Tauris.
Hassan Ghedi Santur is an Associate Editor for Warscapes. Twitter @hgsantur