This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more information, see our privacy statement

New Left Review I/25, May-June 1964

Lucien Rey

The Revolution in Zanzibar

It seemed that the brightest spark in Africa had been snuffed when the news came through of he Tanganyika-Zanzibar anschluss. But it is now possible to be somewhat more sanguine.

First, the past. Zanzibar’s political life has zig-zagged violently from the start, but the zig zags have neither been unconditioned nor uncontrolled. The island’s small size (both Zanzibar and Pemba are roughly 40 miles from end to end; their combined population, split slightly in favour of Zanzibar, is only 300,000) and its peculiar social system gave its politics a special intensity and fervour—and a proportionately greater degree of mass participation and popular grasp of issues than would be piossible in a larger, more sprawling and complex country. Hence Zanzibar’s crash entry on to the continental and world stage.

Subscribe for just £45 and get free access to the archive
Please login on the left to read more or buy the article for £3


Lucien Rey, ‘The Revolution in Zanzibar’, NLR I/25: £3

If you want to create a new NLR account please register here

’My institution subscribes to NLR, why can't I access this article?’