"I certainly had very extreme views, very violent views... and I certainly did advocate... extreme methods." So a leading Nyasaland nationalist characterised the struggle for independent Malawi, but Dr Hastings Banda, a highly respected medical doctor based for many years in London was invited back to Nyasaland to lead the movement to independent Malawi and the Malawi National Congress. Here was, or so it seemed, a loyal and progressive Government with pro-Western leadership - a final success in the story of British decolonisation.
Yet within three months all but one of the cabinet ministers had resigned or were dismissed, former ministers fled the country including distinguished members of the independence movement. Even the pro-Congress Europeans feared for their lives.
Colin Baker unravels this potentially disastrous episode in Malawi's history and in the story of decolonisation. He illuminates not only the immediate post-independence problems of Malawi, a newly independent African state, but charts the growth of Banda's autocracy. This detailed and revealing study reveals the problems inherent in the whole momentous story of Africa in independence and decolonisation. b&w illustrations