THE COLOR CURTAIN
Subtitled- A Report on the Bandung Conference -- this is a more important book than this would seem to indicate. Perhaps because the Bandung Conference, the first meeting of the 29 free and independent nations of Asia and Africa, received less attention in the Western Press than it rated, a book on the impressions received by Richard Wright in attending this conference might also be slighted. Actually, Wright sees this as "the last call of westernized Asians to the moral conscience of the West". One feels the reason for his conclusion in reading this analysis of the mood of the participants; one recognizes the challenge in his realization that if the West does not meet the demand, Communist China alone has the desire and the experience to accept the challenge. The opening speeches were inflammatory, without exception, reflected the antagonism towards the erstwhile colonial powers. But the Bandung communique was extraordinarily moderate in its tone, stressing economic cooperation, with all its sacrifice on the part of the West; calling for a revitalizing of Asian and African cultures and religions; endorsing the principles of human rights and self-determination; asking for an end to surviving colonialism; requesting greater participation in the Security Council of the United Nations. Wright thinks the chances of implementing the contents of the communique are good- but that the problems are vastly greater than indicated. But is there TIME? How shall 65% of the human race be organized? The Communists of China know the magnitude of the problem. Will the West take the means, techniques and time? Religion and Race impressed Wright as the controlling factors. A personal approach- this; but a book that needs to be pondered.