Ranking with the works of Marx, Fanon and Che Guevara, Albert Memmi's 1957 analysis of colonial oppression has been banned by governments and police and is considered by scholars, activists and revolutionaries to be one of the most powerful and psychologically penetrating studies of colonial oppression ever written. In it, Memmi dissects the minds of both the oppressor and the oppressed to reveal truths about the colonial situation and struggle that are as relevant in our war-torn world as they were back in the 1950s. Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer's new critical introduction reflects on Memmi's achievements and failures and takes his analysis into the 21st century by both exposing his flaws and by opening fresh avenues of inquiry for scholars and students, and new directions for activists seeking a more just world order.
Albert Memmi was born in Tunis in 1920. During the Second World War he was arrested and interned in a forced-labour, from which he eventually managed to escape. After the War, he studied at the University of Algiers and at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he received his degree in philosophy. He has taught both in Tunis and Paris, where he now lives.