Manners Make a Nation

Racial Etiquette in Southern Rhodesia, 1910-1963.

Allison Shutt



This book tells the story of how people struggled to define, reform, and overturn racial etiquette as a social guide for Southern Rhodesian politics. Underneath what appears to be a static history of racial etiquette is a dynamic story of anxieties over racial, gender, and generational status. From the outlawing of 'insolence' toward officials to a last-ditch courtesy campaign in the early 1960s, white elites believed that their nimble use of racial etiquette would contain Africans' desire for social and political change.


There are no straw figures in this book, though there are plenty of questionable characters, poor manners, and tragedies.


Allison Shutt is professor of history at Hendrix College. She has published articles in the Journal of African History, Journal of Southern African Studies, and International Journal of African Historical Studies.