This is a study of the genesis, evolution, adaptation and subordination of the Kikuyu squatter labourers, who comprised the majority of resident labourers on settler plantations and estates in the Rift Valley Province of the White Highlands. These squatters played a crucial role in the initial build-up of the events that led to the outbreak of the Mau Mau war.
This story of Kenya in the decade before the outbreak of the Mau Mau emergency presents an integrated view of imperial government as well as examining the social and economic causes of the Kikuyu revolt. Dr. Throup combines traditional Imperial History with its emphasis on the high politics of “The Official Mind” in the Colonial Office or in Government House with the new African historiography that concentrates on the people themselves.
The rise of Zanzibar was based on two major economic transformations. Firstly slaves became used for producing cloves and grains for export. Previously the slaves themselves were exported. Secondly, there was an increased international demand for luxuries such as ivory. At the same time the price of imported manufactured gods was falling. Zanzibar took advantage of its strategic position to trade as far as the Great Lakes.
Switzer looks at how South Africa’s communications industry, the largest and most powerful on the continent, promotes dependency among the subject African populations. This study of the Ciskei “Homeland”, which has long been a fountainhead of African nationalism and a zone of conflict between blacks and whites, focuses on the privately owned, commercial press and its role in helping to frame a consensus in support of the political, economic and ideological values of the ruling alliance.