Remembering George Orwell
1903, June 25. - 1950, January 21.



The Case for African Freedom
by Joyce Cary
With foreword by George Orwell


Searchlight Books
Edited by T.R. Fyvel and George Orwell
Published by Secker & Warburg.
London, UK.
1941
Fenwick B.11
 
 
 

cary Foreword by George Orwell:

The Searchlight Books aim at setting forth a coherent policy, and the earlier books in the series have most of them stated in black and white "what one can  do" about the particular problem they were tackling. If Mr. Cary's book is more discursive and more detailed than the others, it is because the problem of Africa is so vast and, in England, so little known that a preliminary survey is needed before any policy can be usefully stated. A workable programme can only be based onl a knowledge of the atual situation.
Mr. Cary has had long experience as an administrator among primitive African peoples. The title of his book shows where his sympathies lie, but he is first and foremost a realist. He has no use either for the ignorant settler or businessman who secretly regards the African as a slave, or for the left-wing sentimentalist who imagines that the African peoples can be "set free" by a stroke of the pen and that their troubles will thereupon be ended. He knows that the exploitation of the coloured peoples by the whites has got to be ended, and as quickly as possible, and he also knows that in the age of the bombing plane a primitive agricultural people cannot be genuinely independent. In the case of Africa the problem is enormously complicated by cultural and economic differences. In Africa, human beings are living at every level of civilization between the late Stone Age and the twentieth century. There are areas where racial discrimination is more brutal than anywhere in the world, and there are areas where there is no colour-bar at all. Moreover-a problem which does not exist in Asia-there are large communities of white settlers who have lived in Africa for many generations and cannot be left out of the general picture. It is because he so weIl understands the complexity of the situation that Mr. Cary is especially fitted, to plead for African freedom.
He has an unusuaIly independent mind, and rnany readers wiIl feel a certain relief in reading a book on a political subject by a man who has thought deeply over the problems of our time, and has been above current political movements and their characteristic jargon.





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