Angola's Colossal Lie

Forced Labor on a Sugar Plantation, 1913-1977

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Angola's Colossal Lie. Forced Labor on a Sugar Plantation, 1913-1977 is the first in-depth study of forced labor on a Portuguese-owned sugar plantation in colonial Angola. A prominent Portuguese civil servant dubbed the labor system in Angola a “colossal lie” because the reality so contradicted the law. Using extensive oral history interviews with former forced laborers, Jeremy Ball explains how Angolans experienced forced labor. Ball also interviews former Portuguese administrators to provide multiple perspectives about the transition to independence and the nationalization of the plantation.
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Biographical Note

Jeremy Ball, Ph.D. (2003), University of California, Los Angeles, is Associate Professor of History at Dickinson College. He has published articles on labor and business history, the missionary encounter, and the ecological history of Angola.

Review Quote

'.....this is a creatively conceptualised and rigorously researched story that will be of great interest to scholars of the Portuguese empire, Angola, and the changing face of labour regimes in colonial Africa'.

Jamie Miller, University of Pittsburgh, in Itinerario, Vol. 40, No. 1.

Table of contents

Note on Currency
Acknowledgements
Illustrations
Abbreviations
Glossary

Introduction
1 Sugarcane, Aguardente, Forced Labor, and the Founding of Cassequel Sugar Plantation, 1899–1920
2 Cassequel and the Estado Novo, 1921 to World War II
3 “I Escaped in a Coffin”: Remembering Angolan Forced Labor from World War ii to 1960
4 African Nationalism, War, and Labor Reform, 1961–1973
5 Independence and the Nationalization of Cassequel, 1974–1977

Conclusion
Appendix
Bibliography
Index

Readership

Scholars and students interested in Angola, Portuguese colonialism, African labor and business history, oral history, and memory. Two hallmarks of the book are the profiled interviews with former forced laborers and the business details of the Cassequel Sugar Plantation.

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