Paperback, read in the UK about 1975, setting USA and the UK. The plot was a pandemic that was killing all white people (I think also Asians and Orientals but not sure)

There were like Black Power groups fighting for power and also church leaders making their own grabs for control

Then rumours begin about 'The Floured Men' who are allegedly a couple of men trying to fetch back the olden days of white people in charge by going 'whiteface'

Note: Although I read this in the mid-seventies it was a few years old and 'of it’s time' Therefore some racist phrases were casually used

It transpires that the Floured Men are actually white survivors so there is an assumption that things will now get back to normal with them running things

  • Were the events happening in the 1960's, or had the disease eliminating white people happened earlier? I know there's an alternate history novel out there where the 1918 flu epidemic wipes out most whites in the United States and successor states arise run by African-Americans. I can't remember the title right now though.
    – tbrookside
    Apr 4, 2019 at 18:04
  • 1
    "When the Whites Went" by Robert Bateman?
    – MaxW
    Apr 4, 2019 at 18:08
  • @MaxW: Sorry, didn't see your comment until after I submitted an answer.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 4, 2019 at 18:13
  • Yeah, I think I need to up my Google Fu when book searching...I did variations on disease/plague and white people dying ..I kept being led to 'The White Plague' by Frank Herbert. I don't think trying Floured Men even occurred to me!
    – Danny Mc G
    Apr 5, 2019 at 4:09
  • Is it acceptable to refer to people as "orientals" here?
    – Richard
    Apr 5, 2019 at 10:46

1 Answer 1


This is Robert Bateman's When the Whites Went

*When the Whites Went* book cover
Book subtitle: 50 million white people lie dead- victims of the mystery killer that rages from city to city.

His sf novel, When the Whites Went (1963), is set in an England where only blacks survive a disease to which all others fall victim.

Found by doing a Google Books search for "The Floured Men", which came up with the following:

Armina ate the Floured Men's food and drank from their flasks of water. But she said little. They were not Floured Men, of course, and that was even more terrifying at first than the eerie prospect of a new religion more powerful than Waldo's.

  • is there any place where you can see reviews of the book? I can't seem to find any
    – Snow
    Apr 5, 2019 at 11:28
  • 2
    @Snow: I haven't found one online, although apparently Leslie Flood reviewed it in New Worlds Science Fiction, #132 July, Avram Davidson reviewed it in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November 1964, and Beryl Henley reviewed it in Vector 27.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 5, 2019 at 11:32

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