Chapter

War and Public, 1939–1945

David Pratten

in The Man-Leopard Murders

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780748625536
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670659 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748625536.003.0005
War and Public, 1939–1945

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This chapter focuses on the war years. The war effort gave many causes championed in the progressive discourse of the ‘reading public’ a new economic and political imperative. A range of economic issues — the manilla exchange rate, tax collection, school funding and palm oil production — would dominate their concerns, along with a growing list of ‘social ills’ which would fall under their increasingly vigilant and vociferous purview, including court corruption, masquerade violence, child betrothal, human trafficking and juvenile delinquency. The political ground shifted quickly during the war with the effect that the views of the progressive elite and the radical nationalists began to converge. At the beginning of the war government propaganda efforts sought to deflect local agitation by enlisting the support of the anti-colonial nationalist faction. By the end of the war, however, the nationalist agenda had broadened its constituency and it was not only the radical core that the Colonial Government attempted to outflank but also the improvement unions and the conservative press that had affiliated to and were supporting emergent nationalist political parties.

Keywords: war years; war effort; propaganda; nationalism; colonial government

Chapter.  18743 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: African Studies

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