More starkly than any other contemporary social conflict, the crisis in South Africa highlights the complexities and conflicts in race, gender, class, and nation. These original articles, most of which were written by South African authors, are from a special issue of the Radical History Review, published in Spring 1990, that mapped the development of interpretations of the South African past that depart radically from the official history. The articles range from the politics of black movements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to studies of film, television, and theater as reflections of modern social conflict.
History from South Africa is presented in two main sections: discussions of the historiography of South Africa from the viewpoint of those rewriting it with a radical outlook; and investigations into popular history and popular culture—the production and reception of history in the public realm. In addition, two photo essays dramatize this history visually; maps and a chronology complete the presentation. The book provides a fresh look at major issues in South African social and labor history and popular culture, and focuses on the role of historians in creating and interacting with a popular movement of resistance and social change.