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Who Killed Hammarskjold?

The UN, the Cold War and White Supremacy in Africa

«'Susan Williams has produced a compelling account from a monumental amount of historical detective work and encounters with an extraordinary range of personalities, some of them extremely shady.'»

The Witness (South Africa)

One of the outstanding mysteries of the twentieth century, and one with huge political resonance, is the death of Dag Hammarskjold and his UN team in a plane crash in central Africa in 1961. Just minutes after midnight, his aircraft plunged into thick forest in the British colony of Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), abruptly ending his mission to bring peace to the Congo. Les mer

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One of the outstanding mysteries of the twentieth century, and one with huge political resonance, is the death of Dag Hammarskjold and his UN team in a plane crash in central Africa in 1961. Just minutes after midnight, his aircraft plunged into thick forest in the British colony of Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), abruptly ending his mission to bring peace to the Congo. Across the world, many suspected sabotage, accusing the multi-nationals and the governments of Britain, Belgium, the USA and South Africa of involvement in the disaster. These suspicions have never gone away.British High Commissioner Lord Alport was waiting at the airport when the aircraft crashed nearby. He bizarrely insisted to the airport management that Hammarskjold had flown elsewhere - even though his aircraft was reported overhead. This postponed a search for so long that the wreckage of the plane was not found for fifteen hours. White mercenaries were at the airport that night too, including the South African pilot Jerry Puren, whose bombing of Congolese villages led, in his own words, to 'flaming huts ...destruction and death'. These soldiers of fortune were backed by Sir Roy Welensky, Prime Minister of the Rhodesian Federation, who was ready to stop at nothing to maintain white rule and thought the United Nations was synonymous with the Nazis. The Rhodesian government conducted an official inquiry, which blamed pilot error. But as this book will show, it was a massive cover-up that suppressed and dismissed a mass of crucial evidence, especially that of African eye-witnesses. A subsequent UN inquiry was unable to rule out foul play - but had no access to the evidence to show how and why. Now, for the first time, this story can be told. Who Killed Hammarskjold follows the author on her intriguing and often frightening journey of research to Zambia, South Africa, the USA, Sweden, Norway, Britain, France and Belgium, where she unearthed a mass of new and hitherto secret documentary and photographic evidence.

Detaljer

Forlag
C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
Innbinding
Paperback
Språk
Engelsk
ISBN
9781849048026
Utgave
2. utg.
Utgivelsesår
2016
Format
22 x 14 cm

Om forfatteren

Dr Susan Williams is a senior research fellow in the School of Advanced Study, University of London. Her pathbreaking books include Who Killed Hammarskjoeld?, which in 2015 triggered a new, ongoing UN investigation into the death of the UN Secretary-General; Spies in the Congo, which spotlights the link between US espionage in the Congo and the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945; Colour Bar, the story of Botswana's founding president, which was made into the major 2016 film A United Kingdom; and The People's King, which presents an original perspective on the abdication of Edward VIII and his marriage to Wallis Simpson.

Anmeldelser

«'Susan Williams has produced a compelling account from a monumental amount of historical detective work and encounters with an extraordinary range of personalities, some of them extremely shady.'»

The Witness (South Africa)

«'Fascinating book...'»

New Internationalist

«'Immensely impressive … Williams writes with clarity and knowledge, demonstrating a depth of understanding of this crucial period in the history of the UN.'»

Irish Examiner

«'Susan Williams' fascinating book explores the unresolved issues surrounding his death in a plane crash in central Africa. With the help of her engaging and no-nonsense style – part Miss Marple, part No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency – we are led through the messy, ugly and secretive dark arts of decolonisation in a world of white supremacists and Cold War lunatics. Kids: don't try this at home.'»

Times Higher Education

«'Williams has done remarkable research … to gallantly demonstrate that the UN, the Cold War and White Supremacy in Africa, directly or indirectly, caused Hammarskjold's crash. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of the Congo and decolonization; it is very well researched, lucidly written and provides an alternative point of view to a subject that Europe refuses to claim responsibility for.'»

African Studies Bulletin

«'The author's scrupulous research shines through this book's carefully argued narrative. … All the evidence she uncovers points to the Hammarskjöld plane crash being the culmination of an assassination plot—and put into current context, with Congo peace talks breaking down at the AU in Addis Ababa … it is a story that continues to unfold.'»

Stephen Williams, African Business

«'[Williams] has done a fine job of marshalling new evidence and painting a vivid picture of a past era of Rhodesian colonists in long socks and white shorts, and of cold war politics played out through vicious proxy wars in Africa.'»

Sunday Times

«'Susan Williams' impressive probing draws together previously secret archived material and witness statements never before aired. The book is rigorously academic, with intensive referencing and quotes from expert informants, but it is also an intriguing whodunnit, albeit one with particularly sombre connotations,'»

The Canberra Times

«'This engaging book marks a concerted effort to explore the historical mysteries that shroud the UN Secretary-General's death. ... This is a fascinating, meticulously researched, and easy-to-read study of the events surrounding the episode.'»

African Affairs

«'This welcome, and highly readable, historical detective story sheds yet more mystery on the sad fate of Dag Hammarskjöld, arguably the most significant and influential UN secretary general. … What the book does very well, through extremely thorough research of an international nature, is to highlight the controversies surrounding the crash and the numerous investigations into it. … this is an important piece of research. It should be read by all those concerned with the activities of right-wing politicians and businessmen and their links to mercenaries, intelligence operations and European economic dominance in the post-independence Congo; and by those concerned with whoever may have been responsible for Hammarskjöld's death and the weakening of the UN.'»

International Affairs

«'This is an extraordinary story, narrated with clarity and devastating effect. Susan Williams is to be congratulated for shining a light onto a very strange and disturbing incident. The result is a gripping and astonishing read.'»

Alexander McCall Smith, novelist, author of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series

«'Part detective, part archivist, part journalist, Williams schmoozed spies, befriended diplomats and mercenaries and won the trust of Hammarskjold's still grieving relatives and UN colleagues to get her tale. She unwinds each thread of the narrative with infinite patience, leading us carefully down the tortuous paths of Cold War intrigue.'»

The Spectator

«'A startling, meticulous, convincing book, written in the understated prose of a Scandinavian crime thriller.'»

Simon Kuper, The Financial Times

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