Back to Top

115: Penguin African Library, part V

August 20, 2012

Welcome to the fifth week of covers from the Penguin African Library (PAL). If you find yourself a bit lost trying to follow some of this, it might make sense to go back and read the first four week’s entries HERE.
 
Samir Amin drops in again with another title in the series, Neo-Colonialism in West Africa (AP35: 1973). the cover design is a huge break from the style set 11 years earlier and largely followed by the previous 35 titles. The three part cover is gone, as is the base, background color of brown, replaced by white. The same orangish brown is maintained on the cover, but only in the titling. So there is some limited attempt to connect the design to the past. In addition, the two differently colored and montaged photographs also reference colors and styles used on previous covers.
 
The Africans: An Entry to Cultural History (AP36: 1973) is the fourth title in the PAL series written by Basil Davidson. This book continues the design break from the past, and is another break from the previous organization of the PAL. It states on the cover that it is part of the Penguin African Library, but nowhere inside does it mention which number it is, and the PAL monicker is dropped. The marking of “AP36” is only to be found on the spine, embedded in the ISBN and other numbers listed there. In addition, with the spot colors and montages abandoned, the cover image is much more a traditional singular illustration, in this case a 19th century East African figurine. Like the over-use of the maps of Africa, this is the fourth cover that has featured pre-colonial Africa art, and it seems almost random as to which pieces are used and why.
 
Ruth First, Jonathan Steele, and Christabel Gurney’s The South African Connection: Western Investment in Apartheid (AP37: 1973) solidifies the series design change, and also features the first original illustration on a PAL cover. Not only that, but an editorial-like cartoon image by Ralph Steadman. Gruesome but effective, and really representative of the type of graphic illustrations being created and used by the international anti-apartheid movement in the 1970s.
 

 
As far as my research has gone, AP38 was never printed. In the Eye of the Storm: Angola’s People (AP39: 1975) is the fifth title contributed by Basil Davidson. The white series design is maintained, but the cover image breaks out of the box used on the past two covers, with a sepia toned photograph of an Angolan guerilla.
 
Ruth First’s Libya: The Elusive Revolution (AP40: 1974) is the third book in the PAL by First. With its black and white illustration in a hairline bordered box, the cover follows the exact pattern of her last title, The South African Connection.
 

 
While Martin Looney’s Rhodesia: White Racism & Imperial Response (AP41: 1969) generally follows the new design style, there are a couple interesting quirks about it. First, although the photo on the cover is rectangular with even edges and no bleed on the sides, it doesn’t have a hairline box around it like all the other recent and similarly designed covers. Also, the date on the book is 1969, pre-dating this new design style as first seen on AP35 (Neo-Colonialism in West Africa) by four years, and also predating a half dozen other PAL titles which stuck to the old design. I assume this book was completed early, but the cover design wasn’t designed and the book wasn’t released until later.
 
With Anthony Martin’s Minding Their Own Business: Zambia’s Struggle Against Western Control (AP42: 1975) we lose the heading “Penguin African Library” for the first time. It is completely dropped from the cover. Although stylistically it is a version of the same design contours as the previous half dozen books, this is another step in the direction of the PAL being less distinguished as its own series, and being absorbed back into the general Penguin non-fiction titles.
 

 
AP 43 was never printed. With AP44 we have a complete and total break with earlier PAL cover designs. All semblance of the grid is now gone, and the signature PAL brown has also left the scene. Instead the book is covered from back to front with a detail of a painting by the British C.E. Fripp of “the Battle of Isandhlwana.” The image of the epic battle between Zulus and British soldiers is impressive, and the designer has the sense to squeeze the title in an unassuming black up in top left corner, and to not clutter the back with a bunch of text. Although necessary given the orientation of the painting itself, the layout is politicized, with the African warriors gracing the front cover and the colonialists relegated to the back.
 

 
According to my research, AP45 was never published, making John Paul’s Mozambique: Memoirs of a Revolution (AP46: 1975) the last book released as part of the Penguin African Library. Like South Africa above, the cover is of a full cover image, and the titling is in black instead of the previously customary brown. John Paul is clearly white and a religious man, giving insight into the likely content of his memoirs. His figure is cut out and montaged in front of an African scene, literally sitting on top of the Mozambiquans pictured, an interesting departure from all the previous PAL covers, which seemed to consciously center the black African as the subject of the books.
 
So that is the entirety of the Penguin African Library, with 41 different titles and 50 distinct covers. Here is the full bibliography of the series:
 
AP01
Ronal Segal, African Profiles (London: Penguin, 1962). Cover design by Massimo Vignelli.
AP01a
Ronal Segal, African Profiles (Revised Edition) (London: Penguin, 1962). Cover design by Massimo Vignelli.
AP02
Roland Oliver and J.D. Fage, A Short History of Africa (Baltimore, MD: Penguin, 1962). Cover design by Massimo Vignelli, photo c/o Europress.
AP02a
Roland Oliver and J.D. Fage, A Short History of Africa (Second ed.) (Baltimore, MD: Penguin, 1966). Cover design by Bruce Robertson, photo c/o Europress.
AP02b
Roland Oliver and J.D. Fage, A Short History of Africa (Third ed.) (Baltimore, MD: Penguin, 1970). Cover photo by Hawkley Studio Associates (of a Benin bronze in the British Museum).
AP03
James Duffy, Portugal in Africa (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1963). Cover design by Massimo Vignelli.
AP04
Never published.
AP05
Patrick Keatley, The Politics of Partnership: The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1963). Cover design by Massimo Vignelli.
AP06
Jacques Baulin, The Arab Role in Africa (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1962). Cover design by Massimo Vignelli.
AP07
Gerald Moore and Ulli Bier, eds., Modern Poetry from Africa (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1963). Cover design by Massimo Vignelli.
AP07a
Gerald Moore and Ulli Bier, eds., Modern Poetry from Africa (Revised Edition) (Baltimore: Penguin, 1965). Cover unattributed (based on first edition cover design by Massimo Vignelli).
AP08
Jack Halpern, South Africa’s Hostages: Basutoland, Bechuanaland, and Swaziland (London: Penguin, 1965). Cover design by Keith Burns with a photograph by Central Office of Information.
AP09
Govan Mbeki, South Africa: The Peasants’ Revolt (Baltimore, MD: Penguin, 1964). Cover design by Germano Facetti, photo by Alan Cash.
AP10
Ruth First, South West Africa (Baltimore, MD: Penguin, 1963). Cover design by Massimo Vignelli.
AP11
A.J. Hughes, East Africa: The Search for Unity—Kenya, Tanganyika, Uganda, and Zanzibar (Baltimore, MD: Penguin, 1963). Cover design by Robert Hollingsworth.
AP11a
A.J. Hughes, East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda (Revised Edition) (Baltimore: Penguin, 1969). Cover unattributed.
AP12
Brian Bunting, The Rise of the South African Reich (London: Penguin, 1964). Cover design by Gillian Lewis.
AP13
Basil Davidson, Which Way Africa?: The Search for a New Society (Baltimore: Penguin, 1964). Cover design by Ole Vedel, photos by George Rodger and Marc Riboud (Magnum photos).
AP13a
Basil Davidson, Which Way Africa?: The Search for a New Society (Second ed.) (Baltimore: Penguin, 1967). Cover design unattributed.
AP13b
Basil Davidson, Which Way Africa?: The Search for a New Society (Third ed.) (Baltimore: Penguin, 1973). Cover design by Sylvia Clech is based on photographs by Augusta Conchiglia of Angolan guerilla forces.
AP14
Ken Post, The New States of West Africa (Revised Edition) (Baltimore: Penguin, 1968). Cover design by Massimo Vignelli. (Same cover as 1964 edition.)
AP15
Josiah Mwangi Kariuki, Mau Mau Detainee: The Account by a Kenya African of His Experiences in Detention Camps 1953-1960 (London: Penguin 1964). Cover design by Richard Hollis.
AP16
Peter Mansfield, Nasser’s Egypt (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1964). Cover photo by Keystone Press.
AP16a
Peter Mansfield, Nasser’s Egypt (Revised Edition) (Baltimore: Penguin, 1969). Cover design by Robert Hollingsworth, photo by Camera Press.
AP17
Paul Bohannan, African Outline: A General Introduction (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1966). Cover design by Bruce Robertson.
AP18
Mary Benson, South Africa: The Struggle for a Birthright (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1966). Cover design by Tony Anderson.
AP19
Ioan Davies, African Trade Unions (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1966). Cover design by Rodney Ford.
AP20
Basil Davidson, The African Past: Chronicles from Antiquity to Modern Times (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1966). Cover design by Germano Facetti using an Athenian vase and a Marka mask.
AP21
Okoi Arikpo, The Development of Modern Nigeria (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1967). Cover photos by Camera Press Ltd. and Federation of Nigeria.
AP22
P.C. Lloyd, Africa in Social Change: Changing Traditional Societies in the Modern World (Baltimore, MD: Penguin, 1969). Cover design by Germano Facetti.
AP22a
P.C. Lloyd, Africa in Social Change: Changing Traditional Societies in the Modern World (Baltimore, MD: Penguin, 1975). Cover design unattributed.
AP23
Reginald H. Green and Ann Seidman, Unity of Poverty: The Economics of Pan Africanism (London: Penguin, 1968). Cover design by Nicoletta Baroni.
AP24
O.R. Dathorne and Willfried Feuser, eds., Africa in Prose (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1969). Cover design by Patrick McCreeth.
AP25
H.J. and R.E. Simons, Class and Colour in South Africa, 1850-1950 (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1969). Cover design by Robert Hollingsworth using an engraving from the Mansell Collection.
AP26
Geoffrey Parrinder, Religion in Africa (Baltimore: Penguin, 1969). Cover design by Robert Hollingsworth.
AP27
Basil Davidson, The Liberation of Guiné: Aspects of an African Revolution (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1969). Cover design by Patrick McCreeth.
AP28
Eduardo Mondlane, The Struggle for Mozambique (London: Penguin, 1969). Cover design by Patrick McCreeth.
AP29
Samir Amin, The Maghreb in the Modern World: Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1970). Cover design by Germano Facetti, photo by Nelson Christmas.
AP30
Thomas Kanza, Conflict in the Congo (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1972).Cover photograph by Camera Press.
AP31
William Minter, Portuguese Africa and the West (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1972). Cover design by Germano Facetti, photo by Lord Kilbracken—Camera Press.
AP32
Cosmas Desmond, The Discarded People: An Account of African Resettlement in South Africa (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1971). Cover design unattributed.
AP33
Ruth First, The Barrel of a Gun: Political Power in Africa and the Coup D’etat (London: Penguin, 1972). Cover design by Patrick McCreeth, photo ℅ Alistair Matheson (Camera Press).
AP34
Richard Hall, The High Price of Principles: Kaunda and the White South (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1973). Cover photograph by Camera Press.
AP35
Samir Amin, Neo-Colonialism in West Africa (London: Penguin, 1973). Cover design by Patrick McCreeth, photos ℅ Keystone Press Agency, London.
AP36
Basil Davidson, The Africans: An Entry to Cultural History (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1973). Cover design unattributed, painted East African wood figure of the 19th century depicting mother and child, in the Völkerkunde Museum, Vienna.
AP37
Ruth First, Jonathan Steele, and Christabel Gurney, The South African Connection: Western Investment in Apartheid (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1973). Cover design by Ralph Steadman.
AP38
Never published.
AP39
Basil Davidson, In the Eye of the Storm: Angola’s People (London: Penguin, 1975). Cover unattributed.
AP40
Ruth First, Libya: The Elusive Revolution (London: Penguin, 1974). Cover illustration by Peter Fluck.
AP41
Martin Loney, Rhodesia: White Racism & Imperial Response (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1969). Cover photograph by Topix.
AP42
Anthony Martin, Minding Their Own Business: Zambia’s Struggle Against Western Control (London: Penguin, 1975). Cover design by Salim Patell.
AP43
Never published.
AP44
Freda Troup, South Africa: An Historical Introduction (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1975). Cover shows a detail of “The Battle of Isandhlwana” by C.E. Fripp, in the National Army Museum, London. Photo by Hawkley Studios Ltd, London.
AP45
Never published.
AP46
John Paul, Mozambique: Memoirs of a Revolution (Middlesex, UK: Penguin, 1975). Cover unattributed.

Culture & MediaHistoryRacial JusticeSocial Movements

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Posts by Josh MacPhee

More By Josh MacPhee