WELENSKY'S 4000 DAYS by Sir Roy Welensky


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4000 days, or ten years, was as long as the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland lasted. Welensky, the son of a Polish Jew and an Afrikaner, who was also a proud and loyal British subject, was one of the chief architects of the Federation, as well as its Prime Minister for the last seven of those years. Called a reactionary, a racist, and even worse, he is at pains here to give his own side of the story. While most Americans will wish for more background than is provided, the bluntly honest bias certainly does the whole question more justice than any pretense to objectivity ever could. We need not agree that the Federation was ""the most hopeful and constructive experiment in racial partnership that Africa has seen in our time,"" nor be very interested in the specific charges of duplicity brought against Macmillan and Mcleod, to admit that this is an important book. There are no answers to be found here, especially not to the most important African problem--which, in Sir Roy's words, is how to reconcile ""the legitimate interests and apprehensions"" of the whites with the ""reasonable aspirations"" of the black majority. Probably there are no practical answers available anywhere as yet. But they must be found, and quickly, and thus the report of anyone who has had to grapple with the lack of them deserves close scrutiny.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1965
Publisher: Roy