Not an “Ugly American”: Sal Tas, a Dutch Reporter as Agent of the West in Africa

  • Tity de Vries
Part of the The Palgrave Macmillan Transnational History Series book series (PMSTH)


“We are no advocates of xenophobia, nor are we fanatics. We are anti-feudal. […] We are anti-neutralists; we are with the West.”1 This statement of Habib Bourguiba, who became the first president of Tunisia in 1957, was loud and clear. The readers of the American journal of “news and opinion” The New Leader (TNL) could be confident that an independent Tunisia would not ally with Stalin. Bourguiba’s words were cited in an article on the increasing tensions between Tunisian nationalists and French authorities in which the US government was urged to intervene by putting pressure on the French. The core of the article was a unique interview with Bourguiba who was exiled by the French to a bleak hotel in a Tunisian mountain village. The interview and article were the work of Sal Tas (1905–76), TNL’s expert on North African affairs during the 1950s, in particular the struggles for the independence of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.


Labour Party Central Intelligence Agency Nationalist Movement Independence Movement American Reader 
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  1. 1.
    Sal Tas, “French Repression in Tunisia”, The New Leader 28 (10 March 1952), pp. 2–4 (3).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hugh Wilford, “Playing the CIA’s Tune? The New Leader and the Cultural Cold War”, Diplomatic History 27 (January 2003), pp. 15–34 (15).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 6.
    See Sal Tas, “Rondom het process Soekarno. De geest der koloniale recht-spraak”, De Socialist 137 (15 May 1931), pp. 9–10; Sal Tas, “Honger in Indonesia!”, De Fakkel (27 May 1932); Sal Tas, “Onrecht in Soerabaja. De berechting der muiters”, De Fakkel (10 November 1933).Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    Sal Tas, Wat mij betreft (Baarn: Ten Have, 1970), p. 198.Google Scholar
  5. 13.
    Sal Tas, “After Egypt, Morocco?”, TNL 27 (17 December 1951), pp. 2–5 (3).Google Scholar
  6. 14.
    Sal Tas, “France Fights the March of Time”, TNL 28 (17 November 1952), pp. 16–19 (19).Google Scholar
  7. 15.
    Sal Tas, “French Repression in Tunisia”, TNL 28 (10 March 1952), pp. 2–4 (4).Google Scholar
  8. 17.
    Sal Tas, “The New Tunisia”, TNL 32 (20 August 1956), pp. 7–8 (8).Google Scholar
  9. 18.
    Sal Tas, “Algerian Report”, TNL 32 (2 July 1956), pp. 3–5 (3).Google Scholar
  10. 27.
    Gary Busch, The Political Role of International Trades Unions (London: Macmillan, 1983), p. 76.Google Scholar
  11. 36.
    Efraim Roget, “Zanzibar after the Long Knives”, Analyst 3 (1965), pp. 1–16 (6).Google Scholar

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© Tity de Vries 2014

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  • Tity de Vries

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