Re-issued in the Independent Voices series, with Martin Luther King’s Stride Toward Freedom among others, The Colonizer and the Colonized is a strikingly topical book about the enduring legacy, political as much as psychological, of colonisation throughout the world. Written in 1957, when North African independence movements were gaining momentum, Memmi depicts colonialism as a disease of the European but crucially he demonstrates that colonialism destroys both the colonizer and the colonized.
It speaks to the Third World experience as well as European countries, such as Britain and France, who are struggling with the aftermath of their imperial pasts. In revealing the mechanisms of colonial oppression it also highlights the origins of all oppressions of one group by another.
Memmi’s penetrating insights into the colonial inheritance, and attempts to resist colonisation, remain as relevant today. The Colonizer and the Colonized is one of the great works of twentieth-century political thought and widely studied in universities.
With introductions by two of the greatest writers of the twentieth-century: Nadine Gordimer, the South African novelist and Nobel laureate, and Jean-Paul Sartre, one of the central figures in European culture.
Born in 1920 in Tunisia, when it was a French protectorate, Albert Memmi was educated at the University of Algiers and the Sorbonne in Paris. He has also published widely acclaimed novels as well as major works on racism and Judaism.