David Caute Geoffrey Wheatcroft - Essay

Geoffrey Wheatcroft

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Under the Skin] is an odd ragbag of a book, impressionistic, episodic, anecdotal. It does not pretend to give a conventional narrative of the last days of Rhodesia. That has already been done by Martin Meredith in The Past is Another Country, and by other writers also. David Caute's object is to get inside the white settlers, and to describe—and applaud—the end of the country they ruled using a "historian's power of analysis … a journalist's eyewitness reporting … and a novelist's sense of detail".

But a historian, however much his sympathies may be engaged and however recently the events took place, stands back and looks at them critically; a reporter—rather than a polemical...

(The entire section is 565 words.)