The importance of education and training in developing countries is central to Peter Snelson's memoirs. After Cambridge, RAF service and teaching in Britain, in 1954 he went to Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia), where he worked as a teacher and education officer, later becoming Director of Planning at the Ministry of Education. He experienced at first hand the effects of the intense, sometimes violent, political activity of the years leading up to Zambia's independence, and knew many of the leading actors in the drama. After independence, he stayed on to assist with the integration of African and non-African education and the huge expansion of education that followed. In 1968, Mr Snelson returned to Britain and joined the Commonwealth Secretariat, where he was responsible for developing the Fellowships and Training Programme of the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation. Among the special assignments he undertook for the Secretary-General was support for the Commonwealth Group which observed Zimbabwe's pre-independence elections.
He writes with sympathy, informed understanding and humour of a turbulent period in Africa's recent history, and of the development of the modern Commonwealth.