Ryan M. Irwin

in Gordian Knot

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199855612
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199979882 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in International History


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This introduction frames the major themes of this book. It begins with a vignette from the Bandung conference that highlights apartheid’s importance to the decolonization project. The introduction then explains the book’s conceptual framework and outlines the motives that drove the major players, before concluding with two arguments relevant to African and American international historians: namely that Africa’s independence fundamentally remade world affairs and America’s approach toward global governance. The book is a history of the postcolonial nation-state—its arrival in the Black Atlantic and impact on the rest of the international community—that uses the debate about South Africa as a political and intellectual microcosm.

Keywords: Bandung; Apartheid; African decolonization; South Africa; United States; U.S. foreign relations; United Nations; international history; Cold War

Chapter.  4828 words. 

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