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Title: The origins of Maltese statehood : a case study of decolonization in the Mediterranean
Authors: Frendo, Henry
Keywords: Decolonization -- Malta -- History
Malta -- History -- British occupation, 1800-1964
Issue Date: 2000
Publisher: Publishers Enterprises Group (PEG) Ltd.
Citation: Frendo, H. (2000). The origins of Maltese statehood : a case study of decolonization in the Mediterranean. Malta: Publishers Enterprises Group (PEG) Ltd.
Abstract: CO 926, the main series of volumes containing the Colonial and Commonwealth Relations Offices’ original correspondence and papers, including Maltese affairs, between 1961 and 1964, were recently released in London. Professor Frendo is the first to see and to study these for a book from original sources (including the British intelligence reports) about how Malta really became independent. This has, as a backdrop, decolonization in the British Empire, Europe and the Mediterranean. Professor Frendo’s findings and analysis bring into the o[pen many so fat unknown facts, throwing new light on how and why the onetime fortress colony of Malta became independent from the British in 1964, who and what made it happen when it did. The Origins of Maltese Statehood thus offers new, engaging facts and insights on what for Malta and her people was, in the author’s words, “a parting of the way, a stepping out in to the world”. Henry Frendo shows how Malta’s emergence to statehood in the early 1960s was all the more remarkable given the growing unrest in Cyprus, Libya and Aden, as well as the strained relations between East and West in the wake of the Cuba missile crisis, President Kennedy’s assassination, Soviet influence in Southern Europe including a naval presence in the Mediterranean, and the spreading of the nuclear weapons. Malta’s role in NATO (the Mediterranean forces of which she then headquartered), the possibility of her membership of the organization, and her part in evolving British and American strategy in the Mediterranean, are considered. So is a secret plan in 1963 for Malta’s integration with Italy after Independence. The book contains substantial biographical information, some of it novel and startling, on leading personalities including Dr Borg Olivier, MR Mintoff, Archbishop Gonzi and Police Commisioner De Gray (all of whom the author had also interviewed in the past) leading to the transfer of power in September 1964 – when, the book shows, there could have been a bloodbath. As much a history of Malta as of Sir Alec Douglas-Home’s Britain in some respect, this story has the colonial and defence secretaries Duncan Sandys and Peter Thorneycroft as well as the Defence Chief, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, in pivotal roles. Here is a case study of the path to statehood of a former outpost of Empire, a key operational station at least until the 1956 Suez crisis, as well as a long-standing bastion of Christendom straddling in the North-South divide. Malta’s independence story unfolds in the related contexts of an unfolding Commonwealth, with its attendant challenges and perils; an increasingly exposed Southern flank; and the movement towards European integration.
ISBN: 9993200352
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacArtHis
Scholarly Works - InsMS

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