Behind God's Back

Behind God's Back

Behind God's Back

Behind God's Back

Excerpt

At the beginning of this book I state the major conclusion I reached at the end of it: I believe that it is under the Englishman that the native will have the best chance of progress in Africa. The definition of this progress you will see in the book. The British moral attitude towards their African holdings and protectorates is above any except minor criticisms. Their economic conception seems—just absent. And, in their Colonial Service, the British will find the same faults they are now trying to eliminate, under the pressure of war, from their home Civil Service. If they do this with their African service, a new and vigorous life will spring up in Africa.

What value this book may have (aside from its entertainment) lies in the fact that it is the last eyewitness survey that could have been written on the territories I traversed. I began in South-West Africa, the first German colony, then went down through South Africa, then made a coast-to-coast drive across Africa through Tanganyika, Kenya, Uganda, Ruanda-Urundi, the Belgian Congo, French Equatorial Africa, the French Cameroons. And I sailed on an Italian tramp steamer from the Gold Coast just two months, to the day, before this war began.

This book will seem to lack "form," and be full of paradoxes and contradictions. But so is Africa. I have made no attempt to pull it into shape to please the purely literary critic. I won't blame them if they get after me. On the other hand, this is, without distortion and bruising of facts, Africa as I saw it. The raw material and the people "behind God's back"—waiting for the brave new world.

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