Like its predecesor, this study is an attempt to treat in a concise and objective manner the dominant social, political, economic, and military aspects of Angolan society. Sources of information included scholarly journals and monographs, official reports of governments and international organizations, foreign and domestic newspapers, and numerous periodicals. Up-to-date data from Angolan sources for the most part were unavailable. Chapter bibliographies appear at the end of the book; brief comments on some of the more valuable sources suggested as possible further reading appear at the end of each chapter.
Place-names follow a modified version of the system adopted by the United States Board on Geographic Names and the Permanent Committee on Geographic Names for British Official Use, known as the BGN/PCGN system. The modification is a significant one, however, in that diacritical markings and hyphens have been omitted.
Terminology and spelling sometimes presented problems. For example, after independence Angola's ruling party was known as the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola -- MPLA). In 1977, however, in asserting its commitment to the principles of Marxism-Leninism, the MPLA added to its nomenclature "Partido de Trabalho." The term is translated in this book as "Workers' Party" but is elsewhere often seen as "Labor Party." Furthermore, because the spelling of the names of ethnic groups occasionally varies, in some cases alternate spellings are given in parentheses. Finally, many Angolan officials who fought in the liberation struggle against the Portuguese acquired noms de guerre; these officials are often referred to in press accounts by their nicknames. When such officials are cited in the text, their noms de guerre are given in parentheses after their surnames.
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