Jules Archer Dallas Y. Shaffer - Essay

Dallas Y. Shaffer

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

This competent fictionalized biography [Red Rebel: Tito of Yugoslavia] emphasizes Tito's early years and resistance fighting during World War II and clearly explains the historical background and intricacies of Yugoslavian politics. The postwar developments in the country are handled vaguely, but the confrontation between Stalin and Tito is well described, as is the importance of Yugoslavia in contemporary world politics. The style is generally good, except for some corny chapter titles such as "Have Gun, Will Travel." (p. 92)

Dallas Y. Shaffer, in School Library Journal (reprinted from the November 1968 issue of School Library Journal, published by R. R. Bowker Co. A Xerox Corporation; copyright © 1968), November, 1968.

Kenyatta's passage from Kikuyu village to the Prime Ministery of an independent Kenya—via London, Moscow and long imprisonment—is equal to Mr. Archer's penchant for grandiloquence: it is an extraordinary story. And it's to the author's credit that he notes the nuances [in African Fire-brand: Jomo Kenyatta]: the protracted conflict between the British Colonial Office and the local settlers over the rights of Africans; the latter's misunderstanding of African tribal customs, especially with regard to land ownership; the Africans' (and Kenyatta's) disillusionment with Christianity, adherence to Christ; Kenyatta's disapproval of Mau Mau, refusal to disavow it. This most inflammatory episode is placed in perspective: caused by white denial of concessions, aggravated by the arrest of Kenyatta, it led to brutal excesses on both sides and a massive loss of African lives…. The book balances excitement with assessment and provides a welcome introduction to a salient figure. (p. 318)

Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1969 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), March 15, 1969.