This text looks at Central Africa in the moment before the collapse of British colonial authority. Beginning with a lively study of Northern Rhodesia, the book moves outward in widening circles to the views of native councils, of colonial leaders, of African campaigners for independence, and ultimately of the Colonial Office in London. The result is a prismatic glimpse of the complexities of decolonization in Africa. Based on an assortment of unpublished documents, the book focuses on the key year of 1959, the year before the British government's actions that turned the tide toward independence. Containing historical detail and conflicting perspectives, the book provides new insight into the complex particularities of local colonial history.
EUGENIA W. HERBERT is E. Nevius Rodman Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College, and is the author of a number of books on African history.