THE REDS AND THE BLACKS by William Attwood


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Bill Attwood (anyone who calls Galbraith ""Ken"" and Kennedy ""Jack"" can't expect to remain William) has been a journalist most of his adult life, but from 1961 to 1966 he was a U.S. Ambassador, first to Guinea, then Kenya. A political appointee who wrote speeches for both Stevenson and Kennedy in the 1960 campaign, Attwood is the kind of New Frontiersman who can admire Lyndon Johnson's foreign policy, and call for the abolition of the Agency for International Development as the only way ""to save and strengthen our vitally important foreign assistance program."" As the title indicates, his main subject here is the (so far unsuccessful) Russian and Chinese efforts to win over the Africans to their side of the Cold War. He also gets in a number of licks at Washingtonian bureaucracy, while praising the ""overworked and underpaid"" Foreign Service staff. Despite the many personal hardships encountered, Attwood and his family had a grand time, and he describes it all with enthusiasm. His affection for the people of Africa, from Sekon Toure and Jomo Kenyatta to Masai warriors, is genuine and quite outweighs his frequent impatience with them. But perhaps the strongest part of his story--certainly the most encouraging part--is his demonstration of how the Communists can and do make all our mistakes, and then some.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1967
Publisher: Harper & Row