Prelude to Imperialism
British Reactions to Central African Society, 1840–1890
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In the half century preceding imperial control approximately eight hundred Britons lived and travelled in East and Central Africa. Prelude to Imperialism (1965) examines their relations with and attitudes to African tribal societies. The author presents a broad survey of tribal life, an analysis of culture contact, and an extended discussion of the underlying assumptions of the British evaluation of Africans and of the conditions in which they lived. The description of African social conditions and the analysis of grass roots imperialism constitute important contributions to the debate on Western imperialism.
Table of Contents
1. The Central African Frontier 2. White Meets Black 3. Contemporary Ancestors 4. The Noble Savage 5. The Impossibility of Cultural Relativism 6. British, Christian and White 7. Revolutionaries before the Revolution 8. How Can Savages be Civilized? 9. The Beginning of a New Era
H. Alan C. Cairns