This long novel was #6 on the bestseller list for 1955. Something of Value is a fascinating historical study and is written mostly from the perspective of the English white men who own farms and use native Kenyan labor. Shortly after WWII, the natives in Kenya began a terrorist uprising called The Mau Mau rebellion, which eventually led to Kenya achieving independence from Great Britain.

Robert Ruark sympathies with both the white man and the native Kenyans but does not seem to think that colonialism is inherently wrong. He clearly loves Africa and in fact made many trips there, primarily to hunt wild game (which inspired other books). But his knowledge of the natives, their customs and superstitions, is extensive and he has as much affinity for them as he does for the rich white farmers.

Something of Value is out of print, though available in libraries and from used book sellers.

Be sure to check out Robert Ruark’s former boyhood home now a North Carolina Bed and Breakfast!