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Based on three years of research in and extensive first-hand knowledge of Angola, Magnificent and Beggar Land is the definitive account of the fast-changing dynamics of this important yet misunderstood African state; a major exporter of oil, minerals and other raw materials and a growing power in the region. It documents the rise of a major African economy and its insertion in the international system. The government, backed by a strategic alliance with China and working hand in glove with hundreds of thousands of expatriates, many from the former colonial power, Portugal, has pursued an ambitious agenda of state-led national reconstruction. This has resulted in double-digit growth in Sub-Saharan Africa's third largest economy and a state budget in excess of total western aid to the entire continent. Scarred by a history of slave trading, colonial plunder and war, Angolans now aspire to the building of a decent society. Soares de Oliveira's book charts the remarkable course the country has taken in recent years.