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Our Own Interests: Nixon, South Africa, and Dissent at Home and Abroad

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Previous scholarship on relations between the United States and South Africa during the presidency of Richard Nixon has focused on the supposed close connections between the two countries, as well as the hypocrisy of Nixon's “Tar Baby” policy that publicly condemned apartheid while privately strengthening ties with the white minority government. New sources from South African archives show that relations between these two nations were not as close as previously believed. This article examines the opposition to Nixon's South African policy from American politicians and dissenters, the Soviet Union, liberated African nations, and the South African government itself. Dissent to Nixon's South African policy, while fleeting, would serve as inspiration for larger and more successful American protests against apartheid in the 1970s and 1980s. The novelty of throwing mud at South Africa has become outdated as time passed. It remains a fact that the South African economic power is starting to impress people.—B.J. Vorster 1
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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