Friday, December 26, 2014

Winter Writing Project - The 24 February 1966 Coup

I just got an e-mail from Germany reminding me I have until the end of January to write a book chapter for a project I had completely forgotten about. So I guess I know what my writing project for this winter break will be focused on. In a way it is a good thing. It gives me an opportunity to write about a purely African and indeed Ghanaian topic. The topic is the role of the US government in the 24 February 1966 coup against Nkrumah. Upon receiving the e-mail I went digging through the pile on my desk to find my copy of The Great Deception which has many of the important CIA and State Department Documents on the coup in it. I am firmly in the camp that the US involvement was probably necessary for the coup's success. But, I won't be entering any more new evidence into the debate. Instead I will be framing the coup in the broader context of the Cold War between the US and the USSR and how this led to a shift in Ghanaian policies under Nkrumah that met with disapproval from the US government. A lot of the literature unfortunately focuses too narrowly on the purely Ghanaian factors without taking sufficient heed of the fact that non-alignment was bringing the position of Accra much closer to the USSR than the US on issues like European colonialism and apartheid.

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