Angry advocate of violence and sombre prophet of the anti-colonial struggle, Frantz Fanon was also a natty dresser and enjoyed a gin-and-tonic. A black, middle-class psychiatrist from Martinique, who had fought for the Free French in the Second World War, he was to emerge after his death from leukaemia in 1961, at the early age of thirty-six, as one of the most enduring influences on the newly emerging Third World, a visionary who believed that violent revolution was not only justified but necessary.
As a citizen of the French empire, Fanon moved from metropolitan France in 1953 to a mental hospital in Blida, in French Algeria. There he was soon caught up in the great Algerian rebellion that began in 1954 and ended with independence eight years later in 1962. Fanon was obliged