• Richard Hodder-Williams


It is not often that an author can honestly point to a footnote as the starting-point from which his book has developed. But in this instance such a claim would be true. Colin Leys, in his European Politics in Southern Rhodesia, observed in a written aside that there had been no properly conducted sample surveys carried out in Rhodesia.1 By the time I began my work, however, some studies based on sample surveys had been undertaken, but the fieldwork had been completed in the 1950s and much had occurred, both inside and outside Rhodesia, which suggested that the time had come in the middle 1960s to organise another one.2 As I prepared to carry out such a survey, I became more conscious than ever that such a piece of research needed to be situated in a specific historical and social context and that there had been no studies of local politics and local communities which could guide me in deciding the most important questions which needed to be asked. Consequently, I decided to concentrate less on the detailed description of the attitudes and political beliefs of white Rhodesians and more on the historical, economic, and social factors from which their political behaviour and beliefs stemmed. Thus the basic purpose of this book is to examine in detail the growth of social and economic institutions over time in one rural area in order generally to throw some light on the politics of Rhodesia during this century and, specifically, to illustrate the often incongruent interplay between central Government policy and local demands.


White People Middle 1960s Political Belief Electric Storm European Politics 
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  1. 1.
    C. T. Leys, European Politics in Southern Rhodesia (London, Oxford University Press, 1959) p. 241.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    T. M. Frank, Race and Nationalism: the struggle for power in Rhodesia-Nyasaland (London, Allen & Unwin, 1960);Google Scholar
  3. C. Rogers and C. Frantz, Racial Themes in Southern Rhodesia (Yale University Press, 1962);Google Scholar
  4. P. J. M. McEwan, The Assimilation of European Immigrants into Southern Rhodesia (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Edinburgh, 1962).Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    Since I began my research work in 1966, two local histories have been published: Hazel Townsend, The Story of Umvukwes (Salisbury, Unvukwes Women’s Institute, 1967);Google Scholar
  6. and Shirley Sinclair, The Story of Melsetter (Salisbury, M. O. Collins, 1971).Google Scholar
  7. 4.
    T. O. Ranger, ‘The Recent History of Central Africa’, Journal of Commonwealth Political Studies, 3 (1965) pp. 148–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 5.
    R. Gray, The Two Nations (London, Oxford University Press for Institute of Race Relations, 1960).Google Scholar
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    See F. G. Bailey, Politics in Orissa (California University Press, 1959), for a somewhat similar division into three arenas.Google Scholar
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    G. Arrighi, The Political Economy of Rhodesia (The Hague, Mouton, 1967);Google Scholar
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    M. Gluckman, ‘The Tribal Area in South and Central Africa’, in L. Kuper and M. G. Smith (eds.), Pluralism in Africa (University of California Press, 1969) pp. 375, 379.Google Scholar
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    G. A. Nasser, Egypt’s Liberation: the philosophy of the revolution (Washington, Public Affairs Press, 1955) pp. 85–114.Google Scholar
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    The administrative district’s boundaries have altered hardly at all since 1895. The constituency boundaries have altered considerably: F. M. G. Willson (ed.), Source Book of Parliamentary Elections and Referenda in Southern Rhodesia (Salisbury, the University College, 1963) pp. 26–37. By 1962, the constituency boundary approximated very closely to the district’s. The sampling frame for my 1967 survey was the electoral register, which covered the district almost exactly.Google Scholar
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    G. Kay, Rhodesia: a human geography (London, University of London Press, 1970) p. 159.Google Scholar

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© Richard Hodder-Williams 1983

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  • Richard Hodder-Williams

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