We have read the review of our edited book _The War Within. New Perspectives on the Civil War in Mozambique, 1976-1992_ by Dr David Robinson, published earlier in the week by H-Review and H-Luso-Africa. In view of the attack contained in the review, we feel the need to respond.
Like most, we see book reviews as most important for academia and we appreciate greatly that our book got reviewed on H-Net and H-Luso-Africa, and that it got reviewed and published rapidly.
Dr Robinson disagrees with our analysis and he criticizes our book harshly. We see no problem with this, that is: no problem with his disagreeing with our central argument that the war in Mozambique was a "total social fact" in which Frelimo and Renamo were central, but not the only actors of the conflict.
We also see as legitimate for him to consider that our innovative primary sources and what they reveal is not sufficient to alter the analysis of the armed conflict which, for him, should continue aligned to the 1980s' view that the war was only an external conspiracy waged by the South African apartheid regime, with Renamo as a mere proxy.
It is not acceptable, however, that the reviewer goes on to argue that our argument, and that of our authors, is NOT the result of scientific research, but rather the outcome of a premeditated conspiracy aiming at "the historical rehabilitation of Renamo as an organization and political force".
It is indeed NOT acceptable for Dr Robinson to claim, without a shred of evidence, that we are "actually" motivated by "a nefarious political aim, largely based on historical amnesia and relativism".
The deployment of such baseless "ad hominem" attack is unacceptable, if not scandalous, and we are greatly disappointed to see it published on professional academic sites such as H-Net Reviews and H-Luso-Africa.
- Eric Morier-Genoud, Domingos do Rosario, and Michel Cahen