Party Politics and Decolonization explores the relationship between Conservative Party politics and British colonial policy in tropical Africa during the unbroken period of Conservative government from 1951 to 1964. Based on recently released documentary evidence, much of it never before published, Philip Murphy's study traces the development of Conservative attitudes towards Britain's role as a colonial power and describes reactions within the party to the rapid British withdrawal from Africa following the 1959 General Election.
he has assiduously mined the private papers of numerous organizations and individuals involved with Africa now held at Rhodes house library ... The results are impressive in many ways and provide interesting insights on the run-down of British Power in Africa and its effects on the conservative Party at home ... Murphy is to be commended for throwing new light on this old debate.
`a balanced and clear account of Government policy towards decolonization during the long period of Conservative rule that began with Churchill and ended with Macmillan ... a welcome and valuable study: Philip Murphy is to be commended for choosing such an important and inevitably complex subject, for selecting and controlling the voluminous source material now available so carefully, and for advancing our understanding of the process of
Times Literary Supplement
`a major contribution to the swelling literature on the end of Empire ... Based on wide archival research and an intimate knowledge of the minutiae of inner-party maneouvrings ... offers subtle yet important revisions to our views both of British Conservativism and British colonialism.'
Stephen Howe, Ruskin College, Oxford, EHR Apr. 97
`The book is well researched and nicely documented. Its greatest appeal will be to graduate students and to specialists in the area.'
P.T. Smith, Saint Joseph's University, Choice, January 1996 Vol33 No.5
`valuable monograph ... Some of the most interesting work in this monograph comes out of Murphy's assured consideration of the treatment of colonial issues within the Conservative Party ... This is a tightly-focused and tightly-argued study, based upon solid research and directed by an acutely critical eye. The nuances of its arguments are complemented by a limpidity of prose rare in books which began as doctoral dissertations. With as fine a monograph as
this, one is always left wanting more.'
Stephen Brooke, Dalhousie University, Parliamentary History, Vol. 16, pt 2 (1997)