On a freezing winter’s night, a few hours before dawn on May 12, 1969, South African security police stormed the Soweto home of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, activist and wife of the imprisoned Nelson Mandela, and arrested her in the presence of her two young daughters, then aged nine and ten.
Rounded up in a group of other antiapartheid activists under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act, designed for the security police to hold and interrogate people for as long as they wanted, she was taken away. She had no idea where they were taking her or what would happen to her children. For Winnie Mandela, this was the start of 491 days of detention and two trials.
Forty-one years after Winnie Mandela’s release on September 14, 1970, Greta Soggot, the widow of one of the defense attorneys from the 1969–70 trials, handed her a stack of papers that included a journal and notes she had written while in detention, most of the time in solitary confinement. Their reappearance brought back to Winnie vivid and horrifying memories and uncovered for the rest of us a unique and personal slice of South Africa’s history.
491 Days: Prisoner Number 1323/69 shares with the world Winnie Mandela’s moving and compelling journal along with some of the letters written between several affected parties at the time, including Winnie and Nelson Mandela, himself then a prisoner on Robben Island for nearly seven years.
Readers will gain insight into the brutality she experienced and her depths of despair, as well as her resilience and defiance under extreme pressure. This young wife and mother emerged after 491 days in detention unbowed and determined to continue the struggle for freedom.
Harm J. de Blij Northwestern University Press, 1962
Africa South presents a history and description of southern Africa from the arrival of Europeans until the creation of the Republic of South Africa in 1961. Harm J. de Blij provides a portrait of the landscape and the internal policies and struggles within the region. The work serves as a historical travel guide and an introduction to the history of southern Africa. All the maps in Africa South were prepared by the author.
Africa’s World Cup: Critical Reflections on Play, Patriotism, Spectatorship, and Spacefocuses on a remarkable month in the modern history of Africa and in the global history of football. Peter Alegi and Chris Bolsmann are well-known experts on South African football, and they have assembled an impressive team of local and international journalists, academics, and football experts to reflect on the 2010 World Cup and its broader significance, its meanings, complexities, and contradictions.
The World Cup’s sounds, sights, and aesthetics are explored, along with questions of patriotism, nationalism, and spectatorship in Africa and around the world. Experts on urban design and communities write on how the presence of the World Cup worked to refashion urban spaces and negotiate the local struggles in the hosting cities. The volume is richly illustrated by authors’ photographs, and the essays in this volume feature chronicles of match day experiences; travelogues; ethnographies of fan cultures; analyses of print, broadcast, and electronic media coverage of the tournament; reflections on the World Cup’s private and public spaces; football exhibits in South African museums; and critiques of the World Cup’s processes of inclusion and exclusion, as well as its political and economic legacies.
The volume concludes with a forum on the World Cup, including Thabo Dladla, Director of Soccer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Mohlomi Kekeletso Maubane, a well-known Soweto-based writer and a soccer researcher, and Rodney Reiners, former professional footballer and current chief soccer writer for the Cape Argus newspaper in Cape Town. This collection will appeal to students, scholars, journalists, and fans.
Cover illustration: South African fan blowing his vuvuzela at South Africa vs. France, Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein, June 22, 2010. Photo by Chris Bolsmann.
The ANC Youth League
Clive Glaser Ohio University Press, 2012 Library of Congress DT1971.G55 2013 | Dewey Decimal 324.268083
This brilliant little book tells the story of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League from its origins in the 1940s to the present and the controversies over Julius Malema and his influence in contemporary youth politics. Glaser analyzes the ideology and tactics of its founders, some of whom (notably Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo) later became iconic figures in South African history as well as inspirational figures such as A. P. Mda (father of author Zakes Mda) and Anton Lembede. It shows how the early Youth League gave birth not only to the modern ANC but also to its rival, the Pan Africanist Congress. Dormant for many years, the Youth League reemerged in the transition era under the leadership of Peter Mokaba—infused with the tradition of the militant youth politics of the 1980s. Throughout its history the Youth League has tried to “dynamize” and criticize the ANC from within, while remaining devoted to the mother body and struggling to find a balance between loyalty and rebellion.
From 1952 to 1981, South Africa’s apartheid government ran an art school for the training of African art teachers at Indaleni, in what is today KwaZulu-Natal. The Art of Life in South Africa is the story of the students, teachers, art, and politics that circulated through a small school, housed in a remote former mission station. It is the story of a community that made its way through the travails of white supremacist South Africa and demonstrates how the art students and teachers made together became the art of their lives.
Daniel Magaziner radically reframes apartheid-era South African history. Against the dominant narrative of apartheid oppression and black resistance, as well as recent scholarship that explores violence, criminality, and the hopeless entanglements of the apartheid state, this book focuses instead on a small group’s efforts to fashion more fulfilling lives for its members and their community through the ironic medium of the apartheid-era school.
There is no book like this in South African historiography. Lushly illustrated and poetically written, it gives us fully formed lives that offer remarkable insights into the now clichéd experience of black life under segregation and apartheid.
For more than a century, skin lighteners have been a ubiquitous feature of global popular culture—embraced by consumers even as they were fiercely opposed by medical professionals, consumer health advocates, and antiracist thinkers and activists. In Beneath the Surface, Lynn M. Thomas constructs a transnational history of skin lighteners in South Africa and beyond. Analyzing a wide range of archival, popular culture, and oral history sources, Thomas traces the changing meanings of skin color from precolonial times to the postcolonial present. From indigenous skin-brightening practices and the rapid spread of lighteners in South African consumer culture during the 1940s and 1950s to the growth of a billion-dollar global lightener industry, Thomas shows how the use of skin lighteners and experiences of skin color have been shaped by slavery, colonialism, and segregation as well as by consumer capitalism, visual media, notions of beauty, and protest politics. In teasing out lighteners’ layered history, Thomas theorizes skin as a site for antiracist struggle and lighteners as a technology of visibility that both challenges and entrenches racial and gender hierarchies.
In Beyond the Miracle, a distinguished South African journalist provides a wide-ranging and unflinching account of the first nine years of democratic government in South Africa. Covering both the new regime's proud achievements and its disappointing failures, Allister Sparks looks to South Africa's future, asking whether it can overcome its history and current global trends to create a truly nonracial, multicultural, and multiparty democracy.
Sparks sees South Africa as facing many of the same challenges as the rest of the world, especially a widening gap between rich and poor, exacerbated by the forces of globalization. While the transition government has done much to establish democracy and racial equality in a short time, as well as bring basic services such as clean water to millions who did not have them before, many blacks feel it has not done enough to redress the continuing imbalance of wealth in the country. Many whites, meanwhile, feel disempowered and confused about what role they have to play as a racial minority in a country they used to rule and regard as theirs by divine right. Sparks also covers other burning issues, such as the HIV/AIDS epidemic, high crime rates, the diamond wars, the Congo conflict, and the Zimbabwean land crisis.
Writing vividly and often quite movingly, Sparks draws on his decades of journalistic experience and his recent insider access to key figures in the liberation government to take stock of where South Africa has been, where it's going, and why the rest of the world should not turn away from this country where the First and Third Worlds meet. As Sparks persuasively argues, the success of Mandela's vision of a peaceful "rainbow nation" is crucial not just for the salvation of Africa, but also for the world.
“Sparks, a grandfather of South African journalism, has fired one of the first volleys in the 10-year assessment. . . . It is an even-handed work, almost encyclopedic in its breadth. Sparks traverses all the important political terrain.”—Mail & Guardian
“It is as good a guide to the new South Africa as any.”—Economist
Under apartheid, black South Africans experienced severe material and social disadvantages occasioned by the government’s policies, and they had limited time for entertainment. Still, they closely engaged with an array of textual and visual cultures in ways that shaped their responses to this period of ethical crisis. Marshaling forms of historical evidence that include passbooks, memoirs, American “B” movies, literary and genre fiction, magazines, and photocomics, Black Cultural Life in South Africa considers the importance of popular genres and audiences in the relationship between ethical consciousness and aesthetic engagement.
This study provocatively posits that states of oppression, including colonial and postcolonial rule, can elicit ethical responses to imaginative identification through encounters with popular culture, and it asks whether and how they carry over into ethical action. Its consideration of how globalized popular culture “travels” not just in material form, but also through the circuits of the imaginary, opens a new window for exploring the ethical and liberatory stakes of popular culture. Each chapter focuses on a separate genre, yet the overall interdisciplinary approach to the study of genre and argument for an expansion of ethical theory that draws on texts beyond the Western canon speak to growing concerns about studying genres and disciplines in isolation. Freed from oversimplified treatments of popular forms—common to cultural studies and ethical theory alike—this book demonstrates that people can do things with mass culture that reinvigorate ethical life.
Lily Saint’s new volume will interest Africanists across the humanities and the social sciences, and scholars of Anglophone literary, globalization, and cultural studies; race; ethical theories and philosophies; film studies; book history and material cultures; and the burgeoning field of comics and graphic novels.
How did South Africans become black? How did the idea of blackness influence conceptions of disadvantaged groups in England such as women and the poor, and vice versa?
Bringing the Empire Home tracks colonial images of blackness from South Africa to England and back again to answer questions such as these. Before the mid-1800s, black Africans were considered savage to the extent that their plight mirrored England's internal Others—women, the poor, and the Irish. By the 1900s, England's minority groups were being defined in relation to stereotypes of black South Africans. These stereotypes, in turn, were used to justify both new capitalist class and gender hierarchies in England and the subhuman treatment of blacks in South Africa. Bearing this in mind, Zine Magubane considers how marginalized groups in both countries responded to these racialized representations.
Revealing the often overlooked links among ideologies of race, class, and gender, Bringing the Empire Home demonstrates how much black Africans taught the English about what it meant to be white, poor, or female.
What role should universities have in revitalizing rust-belt motor cities left to decay by economic and political transformation? In City of Broken Dreams, author Leslie J Bank addresses this question through a detailed case study of East London, a city in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. Here, as in American motor cities like Detroit and Flint, the car’s cultural power and association with the endless possibilities of modernity lie at the heart of the refusal to seek alternative development paths leading away from racially inscribed automotive capitalism. Rooting the university in a history of industrialisation, placemaking and city-building, this book examines contemporary debates about the role that urban universities should have in building economies, creating jobs and reshaping the politics and identities of their communities. In South Africa as in many other nations, institutions of higher education represent potentially powerful cultural and socioeconomic agents, but the 2015 #FeesMustFall student protests against rising tuition costs highlighted the limits of their power. Firmly grounded in the particulars of East London, this thoughtful study illuminates questions common to rust-belt cities and universities around the world.
City of Extremes is a powerful critique of urban development in greater Johannesburg since the end of apartheid in 1994. Martin J. Murray describes how a loose alliance of city builders—including real estate developers, large-scale property owners, municipal officials, and security specialists—has sought to remake Johannesburg in the upbeat image of a world-class city. By creating new sites of sequestered luxury catering to the comfort, safety, and security of affluent urban residents, they have produced a new spatial dynamic of social exclusion, effectively barricading the mostly black urban poor from full participation in the mainstream of urban life. This partitioning of the cityscape is enabled by an urban planning environment of limited regulation or intervention into the prerogatives of real estate capital.
Combining insights from urban studies, cultural geography, and urban sociology with extensive research in South Africa, Murray reflects on the implications of Johannesburg’s dual character as a city of fortified enclaves that proudly displays the ostentatious symbols of global integration and the celebrated “enterprise culture” of neoliberal design, and as the “miasmal city” composed of residual, peripheral, and stigmatized zones characterized by signs of a new kind of marginality. He suggests that the “global cities” paradigm is inadequate to understanding the historical specificity of cities in the Global South, including the colonial mining town turned postcolonial megacity of Johannesburg.
During the 1920s and ’30s, Franz Taibosh—whose stage name was Clicko—performed in front of millions as one of the stars of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Prior to his fame in the United States, Taibosh toured the world as the “Wild Dancing Bushman,” showing off his frenzied dance moves in freak shows, sideshows, and music halls from Australia to Cuba. When he died in 1940, the New York Times called him “the only African bushman ever exhibited in this country.” In Clicko, Neil Parsons unearths the untold story of Taibosh’s journey from boyhood on a small farm in South Africa to top billing as one of the travelling World’s Fair Freaks.
Through Taibosh’s tale, Parsons brings to life the bizarre golden age of entertainment as well as the role that the dubious new science of race played in it. Beginning with Taibosh’s early life, Clicko untangles the real story of his ancestry from the web of myths spun around him on his rise to international stardom. Parsons then chronicles the unhappy middle period of Taibosh’s career, when he suffered under the heel of a vicious manager. Left to freeze and nearly starve in an unheated apartment, Taibosh was rescued by Frank Cook, Barnum & Bailey’s lawyer. The Cooks adopted Taibosh as a member of their family of circus managers and performers, and his happy—if far from average—years with them make up the final chapter of this remarkable story.
Equal parts entertaining and disturbing, Clicko vividly evokes a forgotten era when vaudeville drew massive crowds and circus freaks were featured in Billboard and Variety. Parsons introduces us to colorful characters such as George Auger the giant and the original Zip the Pinhead, but above all, he gives us an unforgettable portrait of Franz Taibosh, rescued at last from the racists and the romantics and revealed here as an ordinary man with an extraordinary life.
Contested Histories in Public Space brings multiple perspectives to bear on historical narratives presented to the public in museums, monuments, texts, and festivals around the world, from Paris to Kathmandu, from the Mexican state of Oaxaca to the waterfront of Wellington, New Zealand. Paying particular attention to how race and empire are implicated in the creation and display of national narratives, the contributing historians, anthropologists, and other scholars delve into representations of contested histories at such “sites” as a British Library exhibition on the East India Company, a Rio de Janeiro shantytown known as “the cradle of samba,” the Ellis Island immigration museum, and high-school history textbooks in Ecuador.
Several contributors examine how the experiences of indigenous groups and the imperial past are incorporated into public histories in British Commonwealth nations: in Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum; in the First Peoples’ Hall at the Canadian Museum of Civilization; and, more broadly, in late-twentieth-century Australian culture. Still others focus on the role of governments in mediating contested racialized histories: for example, the post-apartheid history of South Africa’s Voortrekker Monument, originally designed as a tribute to the Voortrekkers who colonized the country’s interior. Among several essays describing how national narratives have been challenged are pieces on a dispute over how to represent Nepali history and identity, on representations of Afrocuban religions in contemporary Cuba, and on the installation in the French Pantheon in Paris of a plaque honoring Louis Delgrès, a leader of Guadeloupean resistance to French colonialism.
Contributors. Paul Amar, Paul Ashton, O. Hugo Benavides, Laurent Dubois, Richard Flores, Durba Ghosh, Albert Grundlingh, Paula Hamilton, Lisa Maya Knauer, Charlotte Macdonald, Mark Salber Phillips, Ruth B. Phillips, Deborah Poole, Anne M. Rademacher, Daniel J. Walkowitz
Environmental Justice in South Africa provides a systematic overview of the first ten years of postapartheid environmental politics. Written by leading activists and academics in the field, this edited collection offers the first critical perspective of environmental justice theory and practice in South Africa. Accessible and wide-ranging in its coverage, the book offers a benchmark analysis of the environmental justice movement today as well as an assessment of where it may be headed in the future.
Beginning with a history of the environmental justice movement in the country, the book explores a range of conceptual and practical questions: How does environmental justice relate to issues of marginalization and poverty in South Africa? What are the links between environmental justice and other schools of environmental thought? Is the legal system an appropriate tool for addressing environmental equity? How do race, class, and gender intersect in the South African environmental context?
The second half of the book is a more concrete exploration of environmental (in)justice in the country. These chapters are interspersed with real-life stories of struggles by workers and communities for environmental change. The book is an invaluable resource for South African and international audiences interested in the growing, and increasingly global, environmental justice movement.
This is the first history of epidemics in South Africa, lethal episodes that significantly shaped this society over three centuries. Focusing on five devastating diseases between 1713 and today—smallpox, bubonic plague, “Spanish influenza,” polio, and HIV/AIDS—the book probes their origins, their catastrophic courses, and their consequences in both the short and long terms. The impacts of these epidemics ranged from the demographic—the “Spanish flu,” for instance, claimed the lives of 6 percent of the country’s population in six weeks—to the political, the social, the economic, the spiritual, the psychological, and the cultural. Moreover, as each of these epidemics occurred at crucial moments in the country’s history—such as during the South African War and World War I—the book also examines how these processes affected and were affected by the five epidemics. To those who read this book, history will not look the same again.
In this overview of the origins and development of black societies in southern Africa, Martin Hall reconstructs the region's past by throughly examining both the archaeological and the historical records. Beginning with the gradual southward movement of the earliest farmers nearly two thousand years ago, Hall tracks the emergence of precolonial states such as Mapungubwe and Great Zimbabwe. Farmers, Kings, and Traders concludes with the devastating effects of colonialism.
Through a close reading of the accounts of early travelers, colonialists, archaeologists, and historians, Hall places in context the often contradictory histories that have been written of this region. The result is an illuminating look at how ideas about the past have themselves changed over time.
In Finding Voice, Kim Berman demonstrates how she was able to use visual arts training in disenfranchised communities as a tool for political and social transformation in South Africa. Using her own fieldwork as a case study, Berman shows how hands-on work in the arts with learners of all ages and backgrounds can contribute to economic stability by developing new skills, as well as enhancing public health and gender justice within communities. Berman’s work, and the community artwork her book documents, present the visual arts as a crucial channel for citizens to find their individual voices and to become agents for change in the arenas of human rights and democracy.
Jan Smuts was one of the key figures behind the creation of the League of Nations; Wilson was inspired by his ideas, including the mandates scheme. He pleaded for a magnanimous peace, warning that the treaty of Versailles would lead to another war.
Colin Bundy Ohio University Press, 2012 Library of Congress DT1972.M34A3 2013 | Dewey Decimal 968.05
Govan Mbeki (1910–2001) was a core leader of the African National Congress, the Communist Party, and the armed wing of the ANC during the struggle against apartheid. Known as a hard-liner, Mbeki was a prolific writer and combined in a rare way the attributes of intellectual and activist, political theorist and practitioner. Sentenced to life in prison in 1964 along with Nelson Mandela and others, he was sent to the notorious Robben Island prison, where he continued to write even as tension grew between himself, Mandela, and other leaders over the future of the national liberation movement. As one of the greatest leaders of the antiapartheid movement, and the father of Thabo Mbeki, president of South Africa from 1999 to 2008, the elder Mbeki holds a unique position in South African politics and history.
This biography by noted historian Colin Bundy goes beyond the narrative details of his long life: it analyzes his thinking, expressed in his writings over fifty years. Bundy helps establish what is distinctive about Mbeki: as African nationalist and as committed Marxist—and more than any other leader of the liberation movement—he sought to link theory and practice, ideas and action.
Drawing on exclusive interviews Bundy did with Mbeki, careful analysis of his writings, and the range of scholarship about his life, this biography is personal, reflective, thoroughly researched, and eminently readable.
Part literary history, part cultural study, Grounds of Engagement examines the relationships and exchanges between black South African and African American writers who sought to create common ground throughout the antiapartheid era. Stéphane Robolin argues that the authors' geographic imaginations crucially defined their individual interactions and, ultimately, the literary traditions on both sides of the Atlantic. Subject to the tyranny of segregation, authors such as Richard Wright, Bessie Head, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Keorapetse Kgositsile, Michelle Cliff, and Richard Rive charted their racialized landscapes and invented freer alternative geographies. They crafted rich representations of place to challenge the stark social and spatial arrangements that framed their lives. Those representations, Robolin contends, also articulated their desires for black transnational belonging and political solidarity. The first book to examine U.S. and South African literary exchanges in spatial terms, Grounds of Engagement identifies key moments in the understudied history of black cross-cultural exchange and exposes how geography serves as an indispensable means of shaping and reshaping modern racial meaning.
In August 2004, South Africa officially sought to legally recognize the practice of traditional healers. Largely in response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and limited both by the number of practitioners and by patients’ access to treatment, biomedical practitioners looked toward the country’s traditional healers as important agents in the development of medical education and treatment. This collaboration has not been easy. The two medical cultures embrace different ideas about the body and the origin of illness, but they do share a history of commercial and ideological competition and different relations to state power. Healing Traditions: African Medicine, Cultural Exchange, and Competition in South Africa, 1820–1948 provides a long-overdue historical perspective to these interactions and an understanding that is vital for the development of medical strategies to effectively deal with South Africa’s healthcare challenges.
Between 1820 and 1948 traditional healers in Natal, South Africa, transformed themselves from politically powerful men and women who challenged colonial rule and law into successful entrepreneurs who competed for turf and patients with white biomedical doctors and pharmacists. To understand what is “traditional” about traditional medicine, Flint argues that we must consider the cultural actors and processes not commonly associated with African therapeutics: white biomedical practitioners, Indian healers, and the implementing of white rule.
Carefully crafted, well written, and powerfully argued, Flint’s analysis of the ways that indigenous medical knowledge and therapeutic practices were forged, contested, and transformed over two centuries is highly illuminating, as is her demonstration that many “traditional” practices changed over time. Her discussion of African and Indian medical encounters opens up a whole new way of thinking about the social basis of health and healing in South Africa. This important book will be core reading for classes and future scholarship on health and healing in Africa.
The Herero-German war led to the destruction of Herero society. Yet Herero society reemerged, reorganizing itself around the structures and beliefs of the German colonial army and Rhenish missionary activity.
This book describes the manner in which the Herero of Namibia struggled to maintain control over their own freedom in the face of advancing German colonialism. Taking advantage of the South AFrican invasion in of Namibia in World War One the Herero established themselves in areas of their own choosing. The effective reoccupation of land by the Herero forced the new colonial state, anxious to maintain peace and cut costs, to come to terms with the existence of Herero society.
The study ends in 1923 when the death and funeral of Samuel Maherero -- first paramount of the Herero and then resistance leader -- was the catalyst that brought the disparate groups of Herero together to establish a single unitary Herero identity.
The democratic election of Nelson Mandela as president of South Africa in 1994 marked the demise of apartheid and the beginning of a new struggle to define the nation’s past. History after Apartheid analyzes how, in the midst of the momentous shift to an inclusive democracy, South Africa’s visual and material culture represented the past while at the same time contributing to the process of social transformation. Considering attempts to invent and recover historical icons and narratives, art historian Annie E. Coombes examines how strategies for embodying different models of historical knowledge and experience are negotiated in public culture—in monuments, museums, and contemporary fine art.
History after Apartheid explores the dilemmas posed by a wide range of visual and material culture including key South African heritage sites. How prominent should Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress be in the museum at the infamous political prison on Robben Island? How should the postapartheid government deal with the Voortrekker Monument mythologizing the Boer Trek of 1838? Coombes highlights the contradictory investment in these sites among competing constituencies and the tensions involved in the rush to produce new histories for the “new” South Africa.
She reveals how artists and museum officials struggled to adequately represent painful and difficult histories ignored or disavowed under apartheid, including slavery, homelessness, and the attempted destruction of KhoiSan hunter-gatherers. Describing how contemporary South African artists address historical memory and the ambiguities uncovered by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Coombes illuminates a body of work dedicated to the struggle to simultaneously remember the past and move forward into the future.
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.
"The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." Like all of Steve Biko's writings, those words testify to the passion, courage, and keen insight that made him one of the most powerful figures in South Africa's struggle against apartheid. They also reflect his conviction that black people in South Africa could not be liberated until they united to break their chains of servitude, a key tenet of the Black Consciousness movement that he helped found.
I Write What I Like contains a selection of Biko's writings from 1969, when he became the president of the South African Students' Organization, to 1972, when he was prohibited from publishing. The collection also includes a preface by Archbishop Desmond Tutu; an introduction by Malusi and Thoko Mpumlwana, who were both involved with Biko in the Black Consciousness movement; a memoir of Biko by Father Aelred Stubbs, his longtime pastor and friend; and a new foreword by Professor Lewis Gordon.
Biko's writings will inspire and educate anyone concerned with issues of racism, postcolonialism, and black nationalism.
The Idea of the ANC
Anthony Butler Ohio University Press, 2013 Library of Congress JQ1998.A25B88 2013 | Dewey Decimal 324.268083
The African National Congress (ANC) is Africa’s most famous liberation movement. It has recently celebrated its centenary, a milestone that has prompted partisans to detail a century of unparalleled achievement in the struggle against colonialism and racial discrimination. Critics paint a less flattering portrait of the historical ANC as a communist puppet, a moribund dinosaur, or an elitist political parasite. For such skeptics, the ANC—now in government for two decades—has betrayed South Africans rather than liberating them.
South Africans endure deep inequality and unemployment, violent community protests, murders of foreign residents, major policy blunders, an AIDS crisis, and deepening corruption. Inside the ANC there are episodes of open rebellion against the leadership, conflicts over the character of a postliberation movement, and debilitating battles for succession to the movement’s presidency. The ANC is nevertheless likely to remain the party of government for the foreseeable future.
This remarkable book explores how ANC intellectuals and leaders interpret the historical project of their movement. It investigates three interlocking ideas: a conception of power, a responsibility for promoting unity, and a commitment to human liberation. Anthony Butler explores how these notions have shaped South African politics in the past and how they will inform ANC leaders’ responses to the challenges of the future.
Once the grain basket for South Africa, much of Lesotho has become a scarred and treeless wasteland. The nation's spectacular gullying has concerned environmentalists and conservationists for more than half a century, In Imperial Gullies: Soil Erosion and Conservation in Lesotho, Kate B. Showers documents the truth behind this devastation. Showers reconstructs the history of the landscape, beginning with a history of the soil. She concludes that Lesotho's distinctive erosion chasms, called dongas, often cited as an example of destructive land-use practices by African farmers, actually were caused by colonial and postcolonial practices. The residents of Lesotho emerge as victims of a failed technology. Their efforts to mitigate or resist implementation of destructive soil conservation engineering works were thwarted, and they were blamed for the consequences of policies promoted by international soil conservationists since the 1930s. Imperial Gullies calls for an observational, experimental and, most importantly, a fully consultative and participatory approach to address Lesotho's serious contemporary problems of soil erosion. The first book to bring to center stage the historical practice of colonial soil science and a cautionary tale of western science in unfamiliar terrain it will interest a broad, interdisciplinary audience in African and environmental studies, social sciences, and history. "Showers shows how local people understood that colonial contour conservation methods and road building actually stimulated gully erosion, something colonial scientists failed to realize. Overall it is undoubtedly one of the most important books written to date on any part of the environmental history of Africa. Moreover it stands out in the discipline of environmental history in general as an unusually sophisticated work of great insight and explanatory power."---Richard H. Grove, author of Green Imperialism: Colonial Expansion, Tropical Island Edens and the Origins of Environmentalism, 1600-1860 Kate B. Showers is a visiting research fellow and senior research associate at the Centre for World Environmental History, University of Sussex, England. She has lived in rural Lesotho and has served as head of research, Institute of Southern African Studies, National University of Lesotho.
Adam Sitze meticulously traces the origins of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission back to two well-established instruments of colonial and imperial governance: the jurisprudence of indemnity and the commission of inquiry. This genealogy provides a fresh, though counterintuitive, understanding of the TRC’s legal, political, and cultural importance. The TRC’s genius, Sitze contends, is not the substitution of “forgiving” restorative justice for “strict” legal justice but rather the innovative adaptation of colonial law, sovereignty, and government. However, this approach also contains a potential liability: if the TRC’s origins are forgotten, the very enterprise intended to overturn the jurisprudence of colonial rule may perpetuate it. In sum, Sitze proposes a provocative new means by which South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission should be understood and evaluated.
David B. Coplan’s pioneering social history of black South Africa’s urban music, dance, and theatre established itself as a classic soon after its publication in 1985. As the first substantial history of black performing arts in South Africa, In Township Tonight! was championed by a broad range of scholars and treasured by fans of South African music. Now completely revised, expanded, and updated, this new edition takes account of developments over the last thirty years while reflecting on the massive changes in South African politics and society since the end of the apartheid era.
In vivid detail, Coplan comprehensively explores more than three centuries of the diverse history of South Africa’s black popular culture, taking readers from indigenous musical traditions into the world of slave orchestras, pennywhistlers, clergyman-composers, the gumboot dances of mineworkers, and touring minstrelsy and vaudeville acts. This up-to-date edition of a landmark work will be welcomed by scholars of ethnomusicology and African studies, world music fans, and anyone concerned with South Africa and its development.
In this ambitious new history of the antiapartheid struggle, Jon Soske places India and the Indian diaspora at the center of the African National Congress’s development of an inclusive philosophy of nationalism. In so doing, Soske combines intellectual, political, religious, urban, and gender history to tell a story that is global in reach while remaining grounded in the everyday materiality of life under apartheid.
Even as Indian independence provided black South African intellectuals with new models of conceptualizing sovereignty, debates over the place of the Indian diaspora in Africa (the “also-colonized other”) forced a reconsideration of the nation’s internal and external boundaries. In response to the traumas of Partition and the 1949 Durban Riots, a group of thinkers in the ANC, centered in the Indian Ocean city of Durban and led by ANC president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Luthuli, developed a new philosophy of nationhood that affirmed South Africa’s simultaneously heterogeneous and fundamentally African character.
Internal Frontiers is a major contribution to postcolonial and Indian Ocean studies and charts new ways of writing about African nationalism.
Johannesburg: The Elusive Metropolis is a pioneering effort to insert South Africa’s largest city into urban theory, on its own terms. Johannesburg is Africa’s premier metropolis. Yet theories of urbanization have cast it as an emblem of irresolvable crisis, the spatial embodiment of unequal economic relations and segregationist policies, and a city that responds to but does not contribute to modernity on the global scale. Complicating and contesting such characterizations, the contributors to this collection reassess classic theories of metropolitan modernity as they explore the experience of “city-ness” and urban life in post-apartheid South Africa. They portray Johannesburg as a polycentric and international city with a hybrid history that continually permeates the present. Turning its back on rigid rationalities of planning and racial separation, Johannesburg has become a place of intermingling and improvisation, a city that is fast developing its own brand of cosmopolitan culture.
The volume’s essays include an investigation of representation and self-stylization in the city, an ethnographic examination of friction zones and practices of social reproduction in inner-city Johannesburg, and a discussion of the economic and literary relationship between Johannesburg and Maputo, Mozambique’s capital. One contributor considers how Johannesburg’s cosmopolitan sociability enabled the anticolonial projects of Mohandas Ghandi and Nelson Mandela. Journalists, artists, architects, writers, and scholars bring contemporary Johannesburg to life in ten short pieces, including reflections on music and megamalls, nightlife, built spaces, and life for foreigners in the city.
Contributors: Arjun Appadurai, Carol A. Breckenridge, Lindsay Bremner, David Bunn, Fred de Vries, Nsizwa Dlamini, Mark Gevisser, Stefan Helgesson, Julia Hornberger, Jonathan Hyslop, Grace Khunou, Frédéric Le Marcis, Xavier Livermon, John Matshikiza, Achille Mbembe, Robert Muponde, Sarah Nuttall, Tom Odhiambo, Achal Prabhala, AbdouMaliq Simone
Katutura, located in Namibia’s major urban center and capital, Windhoek, was a township created by apartheid, and administered in the past by the most rigid machinery of the apartheid era. Namibia became a sovereign state in 1990, and Katutura reflects many of the changes that have taken place. No longer part of a rigidly bounded social system, people in Katutura today have the opportunity to enter and leave as their personal circumstances dictate. Influenced in recent years by significant urban migration and the changing political and economic situation in the new South Africa, as well as a myriad of other factors, this diverse community has held special interest for the author who did fieldwork there for several years prior to 1975. Pendleton’s recent visits provide a rich comparison of life in Katutura township during the peak of the apartheid years and in the post-independence period. In his systematic look at urbanization, poverty, stratification, ethnicity, social structure, and social history, he provides a compassionate view of the survivors of the unstable years of apartheid.
Land is a significant and controversial topic in South Africa. Addressing the land claims of those dispossessed in the past has proved to be a demanding, multidimensional process. In many respects the land restitution program that was launched as part of the county’s transition to democracy in 1994 has failed to meet expectations, with ordinary citizens, policymakers, and analysts questioning not only its progress but also its outcomes and parameters.
Land, Memory, Reconstruction, and Justice brings together a wealth of topical material and case studies by leading experts in the field who present a rich mix of perspectives from politics, sociology, geography, social anthropology, law, history, and agricultural economics. The collection addresses both the material and the symbolic dimensions of land claims, in rural and urban contexts, and explores the complex intersection of issues confronting the restitution program, from the promotion of livelihoods to questions of rights, identity, and transitional justice.
A valuable contribution to the field of land and agrarian studies, both in South Africa and internationally, it is undoubtedly the most comprehensive treatment to date of South Africa’s postapartheid land claims process and will be essential reading for scholars and students of land reform for years to come.
The year 2008 is the deadline set by President Mbeki for the finalization of all land claims by people who were dispossessed under the apartheid and previous white governments. Although most experts agree this is an impossible deadline, it does provide a significant political moment for reflection on the ANC government’s program of land restitution since the end of apartheid.
Land reform (and land restitution within that) remains a highly charged issue in South Africa, one that deserves more in–depth analysis. Drawing on her experience as Rural Land Claims Commissioner in KwaZulu–Natal from 1995 to 2000, Professor Cherryl Walker provides a multilayered account of land reform in South Africa, one that covers general critical commentary, detailed case material, and personal narrative. She explores the master narrative of loss and restoration, which has been fundamental in shaping the restitution program; offers a critical overview of the achievements of the program as a whole; and discusses what she calls the “non–programmatic limits to land reform,” including urbanization, environmental constraints and the impact of HIV/AIDS.
Small and isolated in the Colony of Natal, Fort Napier was long treated like a temporary outpost of the expanding British Empire. Yet British troops manned this South African garrison for over seventy years. Tasked with protecting colonists, the fort became even more significant as an influence on, and reference point for, settler society. Graham Dominy's Last Outpost on the Zulu Frontier reveals the unexamined but pivotal role of Fort Napier in the peacetime public dramas of the colony. Its triumphalist colonial-themed pageantry belied colonists's worries about their own vulnerability. As Dominy shows, the cultural, political, and economic methods used by the garrison compensated for this perceived weakness. Settler elites married their daughters to soldiers to create and preserve an English-speaking oligarchy. At the same time, garrison troops formed the backbone of a consumer market that allowed colonists to form banking and property interests that consolidated their control.
“No nation can win a battle without faith,” Steve Biko wrote, and as Daniel R. Magaziner demonstrates in The Law and the Prophets, the combination of ideological and theological exploration proved a potent force.
The 1970s are a decade virtually lost to South African historiography. This span of years bridged the banning and exile of the country’s best-known antiapartheid leaders in the early 1960s and the furious protests that erupted after the Soweto uprisings of June 16, 1976. Scholars thus know that something happened—yet they have only recently begun to explore how and why.
The Law and the Prophets is an intellectual history of the resistance movement between 1968 and 1977; it follows the formation, early trials, and ultimate dissolution of the Black Consciousness movement. It differs from previous antiapartheid historiography, however, in that it focuses more on ideas than on people and organizations. Its singular contribution is an exploration of the theological turn that South African politics took during this time. Magaziner argues that only by understanding how ideas about race, faith, and selfhood developed and were transformed in this period might we begin to understand the dramatic changes that took place.
Liberation and Development: Black Consciousness Community Programs in South Africa is an account of the community development programs of the Black Consciousness movement in South Africa. It covers the emergence of the movement’s ideas and practices in the context of the late 1960s and early 1970s, then analyzes how activists refined their practices, mobilized resources, and influenced people through their work. The book examines this history primarily through the Black Community Programs organization and its three major projects: the yearbook Black Review, the Zanempilo Community Health Center, and the Njwaxa leatherwork factory. As opposed to better-known studies of antipolitical, macroeconomic initiatives, this book shows that people from the so-called global South led development in innovative ways that promised to increase social and political participation. It particularly explores the power that youth, women, and churches had in leading change in a hostile political environment. With this new perspective on a major liberation movement, Hadfield not only causes us to rethink aspects of African history but also offers lessons from the past for African societies still dealing with developmental challenges similar to those faced during apartheid.
While much has been written on post-apartheid social movements in South Africa, most discussion centers on ideal forms of movements, disregarding the reality and agency of the activists themselves. In Living Politics, Kerry Ryan Chance radically flips the conversation by focusing on the actual language and humanity of post-apartheid activists rather than the external, idealistic commentary of old.
Tracking everyday practices and interactions between poor residents and state agents in South Africa’s shack settlements, Chance investigates the rise of nationwide protests since the late 1990s. Based on ethnography in Durban, Cape Town, and Johannesburg, the book analyzes the criminalization of popular forms of politics that were foundational to South Africa’s celebrated democratic transition. Chance argues that we can best grasp the increasingly murky line between “the criminal” and “the political” with a “politics of living” that casts slum and state in opposition to one another. Living Politics shows us how legitimate domains of politics are redefined, how state sovereignty is forcibly enacted, and how the production of new citizen identities crystallize at the intersections of race, gender, and class.
In Making Freedom Anne-Maria Makhulu explores practices of squatting and illegal settlement on the outskirts of Cape Town during and immediately following the end of apartheid. Apartheid's paradoxical policies of prohibiting migrant Africans who worked in Cape Town from living permanently within the city led some black families to seek safe haven on the city's perimeters. Beginning in the 1970s families set up makeshift tents and shacks and built whole communities, defying the state through what Makhulu calls a "politics of presence." In the simple act of building homes, squatters, who Makhulu characterizes as urban militants, actively engaged in a politics of "the right to the city" that became vital in the broader struggles for liberation. Despite apartheid's end in 1994, Cape Town’s settlements have expanded, as new forms of dispossession associated with South African neoliberalism perpetuate relations of spatial exclusion, poverty, and racism. As Makhulu demonstrates, the efforts of black Capetonians to establish claims to a place in the city not only decisively reshaped Cape Town's geography but changed the course of history.
The Marikana Massacre of August 16, 2012, was the single most lethal use of force by South African security forces against civilians since the end of apartheid. Those killed were mineworkers in support of a pay raise. Through a series of interviews conducted with workers who survived the attack, this account documents and examines the controversial shootings in great detail, beginning with a valuable history of the events leading up to the killing of workers, and including eyewitness accounts of the violence and interviews with family members of those who perished.
While the official Farlam Commission investigation of the massacre is still ongoing, many South Africans do not hold much confidence in the government’s ability to examine its own complicity in these events. Marikana, on the other hand, examines the various roles played by the African National Congress, the mine company, and the National Union of Mineworkers in creating the conditions that led to the massacre. While the commission’s investigations take place in a courtroom setting tilted toward those in power, Marikana documents testimony from the mineworkers in the days before official statements were even gathered, offering an unusually immediate and unfiltered look at the reality from the perspective of those most directly affected. Enhanced by vivid maps that make clear the setting and situation of the events, Marikana is an invaluable work of history, journalism, sociology, and activism.
The end of apartheid brought South Africa into the global media environment. Outside companies invested in the nation's newspapers while South African conglomerates pursued lucrative tech ventures and communication markets around the world. Many observers viewed the rapid development of South African media as a roadmap from authoritarianism to global modernity. Herman Wasserman analyzes the debates surrounding South Africa's new media presence against the backdrop of rapidly changing geopolitics. His exploration reveals how South African disputes regarding access to, and representation in, the media reflect the domination and inequality in the global communication sphere. Optimists see post-apartheid media as providing a vital space that encourages exchanges of opinion in a young democracy. Critics argue the public sphere mirrors South Africa's past divisions and privileges the viewpoints of the elite. Wasserman delves into the ways these simplistic narratives obscure the country's internal tensions, conflicts, and paradoxes even as he charts the diverse nature of South African entry into the global arena.
Music and Social Change in South Africa looks at contemporary maskanda-a folk musical genre distinguished by fast guitar picking and blues-style vocal intonation-against the backdrop of South Africa's history. A performance practice that emerged in the early decades of the twentieth century among Zulu migrant workers, maskanda is strongly associated with young Zulu men's experiences of repression and dislocation during imperial and, more particularly, apartheid rule.
Working closely with translated song lyrics and musical notation-and applying musical and socio-political analysis to this music and its cultural context-Olsen argues that maskanda offers insight into how the post-apartheid ideal of social transformation is experienced by those who were marginalized for most of the twentieth century.
Drawing on a decade of research, Olsen strives to demystify the Zulu part of contemporary experience in South Africa and to reveal some of the complexities of the social, economic, and political landscape of contemporary South Africa.
First published in 1916 and one of South Africa’s great political books, Native Life in South Africa was first and foremost a response to the Native’s Land Act of 1913, and was written by one of the most gifted and influential writers and journalists of his generation. Sol T. Plaatje provides an account of the origins of this crucially important piece of legislation and a devastating description of its immediate effects.
In this groundbreaking study, Jacob A. Tropp explores the interconnections between negotiations over the environment and an emerging colonial relationship in a particular South African context—the Transkei—subsequently the largest of the notorious “homelands” under apartheid.
In the late nineteenth century, South Africa’s Cape Colony completed its incorporation of the area beyond the Kei River, known as the Transkei, and began transforming the region into a labor reserve. It simultaneously restructured popular access to local forests, reserving those resources for the benefit of the white settler economy. This placed new constraints on local Africans in accessing resources for agriculture, livestock management, hunting, building materials, fuel, medicine, and ritual practices.
Drawing from a diverse array of oral and written sources, Tropp reveals how bargaining over resources—between and among colonial officials, chiefs and headmen, and local African men and women—was interwoven with major changes in local political authority, gendered economic relations, and cultural practices as well as with intense struggles over the very meaning and scope of colonial rule itself.
Natures of Colonial Change sheds new light on the colonial era in the Transkei by looking at significant yet neglected dimensions of this history: how both “colonizing” and “colonized” groups negotiated environmental access and how such negotiations helped shape the broader making and meaning of life in the new colonial order.
In recent years, as peace between Israelis and Palestinians has remained cruelly elusive, scholars and activists have increasingly turned to South African history and politics to make sense of the situation. In the early 1990s, both South Africa and Israel began negotiating with their colonized populations. South Africans saw results: the state was democratized and black South Africans gained formal legal equality. Palestinians, on the other hand, won neither freedom nor equality, and today Israel remains a settler-colonial state. Despite these different outcomes, the transitions of the last twenty years have produced surprisingly similar socioeconomic changes in both regions: growing inequality, racialized poverty, and advanced strategies for securing the powerful and policing the racialized poor. Neoliberal Apartheid explores this paradox through an analysis of (de)colonization and neoliberal racial capitalism.
After a decade of research in the Johannesburg and Jerusalem regions, Andy Clarno presents here a detailed ethnographic study of the precariousness of the poor in Alexandra township, the dynamics of colonization and enclosure in Bethlehem, the growth of fortress suburbs and private security in Johannesburg, and the regime of security coordination between the Israeli military and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. The first comparative study of the changes in these two areas since the early 1990s, the book addresses the limitations of liberation in South Africa, highlights the impact of neoliberal restructuring in Palestine, and argues that a new form of neoliberal apartheid has emerged in both contexts.
The concept of Colouredness—being neither white nor black—has been pivotal to the brand of racial thinking particular to South African society. The nature of Coloured identity and its heritage of oppression has always been a matter of intense political and ideological contestation.
Not White Enough, Not Black Enough: Racial Identity in the South African Coloured Community is the first systematic study of Coloured identity, its history, and its relevance to South African national life. Mohamed Adhikari engages with the debates and controversies thrown up by the identity’s troubled existence and challenges much of the conventional wisdom associated with it. A combination of wide-ranging thematic analyses and detailed case studies illustrates how Colouredness functioned as a social identity from the time of its emergence in the late nineteenth century through its adaptation to the postapartheid environment.
Adhikari demonstrates how the interplay of marginality, racial hierarchy, assimilationist aspirations, negative racial stereotyping, class divisions, and ideological conflicts helped mold people’s sense of Colouredness over the past century. Knowledge of this history, and of the social and political dynamic that informed the articulation of a separate Coloured identity, is vital to an understanding of present-day complexities in South Africa.
In 1879, the British colony of Natal invaded the neighboring Zulu kingdom. Large numbers of Natal Africans fought with the British against the Zulus, enabling the British to claim victory and, ultimately, to annex the Zulu kingdom. Less than thirty years later, in 1906, many of those same Natal Africans, and their descendants, rebelled against the British in the name of the Zulu king. In The Other Zulus, a thorough history of Zulu ethnicity during the colonial period, Michael R. Mahoney shows that the lower classes of Natal, rather than its elites, initiated the transformation in ethnic self-identification, and they did so for multiple reasons. The resentment that Natal Africans felt toward the Zulu king diminished as his power was curtailed by the British. The most negative consequences of colonialism may have taken several decades to affect the daily lives of most Africans. Natal Africans are likely to have experienced the oppression of British rule more immediately and intensely in 1906 than they had in 1879. Meanwhile, labor migration to the gold mines of Johannesburg politicized the young men of Natal. Mahoney's fine-grained local history shows that these young migrants constructed and claimed a new Zulu identity, both to challenge the patriarchal authority of African chiefs and to fight colonial rule.
A Place That Matters Yet unearths the little-known story of Johannesburg’s MuseumAfrica, a South African history museum that embodies one of the most dynamic and fraught stories of colonialism and postcolonialism, its life spanning the eras before, during, and after apartheid. Sara Byala, in examining this story, sheds new light not only on racism and its institutionalization in South Africa but also on the problems facing any museum that is charged with navigating colonial history from a postcolonial perspective.
Drawing on thirty years of personal letters and public writings by museum founder John Gubbins, Byala paints a picture of a uniquely progressive colonist, focusing on his philosophical notion of “three-dimensional thinking,” which aimed to transcend binaries and thus—quite explicitly—racism. Unfortunately, Gubbins died within weeks of the museum’s opening, and his hopes would go unrealized as the museum fell in line with emergent apartheid politics. Following the museum through this transformation and on to its 1994 reconfiguration as a post-apartheid institution, Byala showcases it as a rich—and problematic—archive of both material culture and the ideas that surround that culture, arguing for its continued importance in the establishment of a unified South Africa.
The end of apartheid in South Africa broke down political barriers, extending to all races the formal rights of citizenship, including the right to participate in free elections and parliamentary democracy. But South Africa remains one of the most economically polarized nations in the world. In The Politics of Necessity Elke Zuern forcefully argues that working toward greater socio-economic equality—access to food, housing, land, jobs—is crucial to achieving a successful and sustainable democracy.
Drawing on interviews with local residents and activists in South Africa’s impoverished townships during more than a decade of dramatic political change, Zuern tracks the development of community organizing and reveals the shifting challenges faced by poor citizens. Under apartheid, township residents began organizing to press the government to address the basic material necessities of the poor and expanded their demands to include full civil and political rights. While the movement succeeded in gaining formal political rights, democratization led to a new government that instituted neo-liberal economic reforms and sought to minimize protest. In discouraging dissent and failing to reduce economic inequality, South Africa’s new democracy has continued to disempower the poor.
By comparing movements in South Africa to those in other African and Latin American states, this book identifies profound challenges to democratization. Zuern asserts the fundamental indivisibility of all human rights, showing how protest movements that call attention to socio-economic demands, though often labeled a threat to democracy, offer significant opportunities for modern democracies to evolve into systems of rule that empower all citizens.
The struggle for freedom in South Africa goes back a long way. In 1909, a remarkable interracial delegation of South Africans traveled to London to lobby for a non-racialized constitution and franchise for all. Among their allies was Mahatma Gandhi, who later encapsulated lessons from the experience in his most important book, Hind Swaraj. Though the mission failed, the London debates were critical to the formation of the African National Congress in 1912.
With impeccable storytelling and rich character depictions, Martin Plaut describes the early quest for black franchise and the seeds it planted for a new South Africa. While most people believe that black South Africans obtained the vote in 1994, men of all races voted in the Cape Colony for almost a century, sometimes deciding election outcomes. The London mission was part of a long history of nonwhite political agency.
Taking as its centerpiece the 1909 delegation, Promise and Despair covers the twelve years between the South African War and the First World War, during which the major forces that would shape twentieth-century South Africa were forged. Plaut reveals new details of the close collaboration between Gandhi and the ANC leadership during the Indian-South African community’s struggle for their rights, the influence of the American South on South African racial practices, and the workings of the Imperial system.
Postapartheid South Africa's efforts to come to terms with its past, particularly its Truth and Reconciliation Commission's emphasis on forgiveness and reconciliation, is of special interest to many in the world community. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, was mandated to go beyond truth-finding and to "promote national unity and reconciliation in a spirit of understanding which transcends the conflict and divisions of the past." In contrast with other truth commissions, the TRC was led by clerics rather than lawyers and judge, and the TRC's approach to reconciliation was shaped by and imbued with religious content. The TRC submitted its final report to the Mandela administration in October 1998.
Over the next two years, the Rev. Bernard Spong, former communications director of the South African Council of Churches, conducted a series of in-depth interviews about the TRC with thirty-three key religious figures. In this volume, they discuss and evaluate the following issues:
•How should we understand the concept of national or political reconciliation and its requirements?
•What are the differences and similarities between religious and political approaches to reconciliation?
•Does national or political reconciliation require forgiveness between former victims and perpetrators?
•What is the appropriate role of religious representatives in a truth commission process? And is it recommended that other countries emulate the South African model?
•How do religious leaders assess the contributions and limitations of the TRC?
•What kind of initiatives are contemporary religious communities taking to promote reconciliation among their members and in the wider society?
The conversations presented in this volume, and the essays interpreting them, seek to illuminate issues and questions raised by the TRC model, including how to conceptualize reconciliation and the differences between political and religious approaches.
Slavery, Emancipation and Colonial Rule in South Africa examines the rural Cape Colony from the earliest days of Dutch colonial rule in the mid-seventeenth century to the outbreak of the South African War in 1899.
For slaves and slave owners alike, incorporation into the British Empire at the beginning of the nineteenth century brought fruits that were bittersweet. The gentry had initially done well by accepting British rule, but were ultimately faced with the legislated ending of servile labor. To slaves and Khoisan servants, British rule brought freedom, but a freedom that remained limited. The gentry accomplished this feat only with great difficulty. Increasingly, their dominance of the countryside was threatened by English-speaking merchants and money-lenders, a challenge that stimulated early Afrikaner nationalism. The alliances that ensured nineteenth-century colonial stability all but fell apart as the descendants of slaves and Khoisan turned on their erstwhile masters during the South African War of 1899–1902.
Song Walking explores the politics of land, its position in memories, and its foundation in changing land-use practices in western Maputaland, a borderland region situated at the juncture of South Africa, Mozambique, and Swaziland. Angela Impey investigates contrasting accounts of this little-known geopolitical triangle, offsetting textual histories with the memories of a group of elderly women whose songs and everyday practices narrativize a century of borderland dynamics. Drawing evidence from women’s walking songs (amaculo manihamba)—once performed while traversing vast distances to the accompaniment of the European mouth-harp (isitweletwele)—she uncovers the manifold impacts of internationally-driven transboundary environmental conservation on land, livelihoods, and local senses of place.
This book links ethnomusicological research to larger themes of international development, environmental conservation, gender, and local economic access to resources. By demonstrating that development processes are essentially cultural processes and revealing how music fits within this frame, Song Walking testifies to the affective, spatial, and economic dimensions of place, while contributing to a more inclusive and culturally apposite alignment between land and environmental policies and local needs and practices.
The South Africa Reader is an extraordinarily rich guide to the history, culture, and politics of South Africa. With more than eighty absorbing selections, the Reader provides many perspectives on the country's diverse peoples, its first two decades as a democracy, and the forces that have shaped its history and continue to pose challenges to its future, particularly violence, inequality, and racial discrimination. Among the selections are folktales passed down through the centuries, statements by seventeenth-century Dutch colonists, the songs of mine workers, a widow's testimony before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and a photo essay featuring the acclaimed work of Santu Mofokeng. Cartoons, songs, and fiction are juxtaposed with iconic documents, such as "The Freedom Charter" adopted in 1955 by the African National Congress and its allies and Nelson Mandela's "Statement from the Dock" in 1964. Cacophonous voices—those of slaves and indentured workers, African chiefs and kings, presidents and revolutionaries—invite readers into ongoing debates about South Africa's past and present and what exactly it means to be South African.
The human rights movement in South Africa’s transition to a postapartheid democracy has been widely celebrated as a triumph for global human rights. It was a key aspect of the political transition, often referred to as a miracle, which brought majority rule and democracy to South Africa. The country’s new constitution, its Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the moral authority of Nelson Mandela stand as exemplary proof of this achievement. Yet, less than a generation after the achievement of freedom, the status of human rights and constitutionalism in South Africa is uncertain. In government the ANC has displayed an inconsistent attitude to the protection, and advancement, of hard-won freedoms and rights, and it is not at all clear that a broader civic and political consciousness of the importance of rights is rooting itself more widely in popular culture.
South Africa’s Suspended Revolution tells the story of South Africa’s democratic transition and the prospects for the country to develop a truly inclusive political system. Beginning with an account of the transition in the leadership of the African National Congress from Thabo Mbeki to Jacob Zuma, the book then broadens its lens to examine the relationship of South Africa’s political elite to its citizens. It also examines the evolution of economic and social policies through the democratic transition, as well as the development of a postapartheid business community and a foreign policy designed to re-engage South Africa with the world community.
Written by one of South Africa’s leading scholars and political commentators, the book combines historical and contemporary analysis with strategies for an alternative political agenda. Adam Habib connects the lessons of the South African experience with theories of democratic transition, social change, and conflict resolution. Political leaders, scholars, students, and activists will all find material here to deepen their understanding of the challenges and opportunities of contemporary South Africa.
Umkhonto weSizwe, Spear of the Nation, was arguably the last of the great liberation armies of the twentieth century—but it never got to “march triumphant into Pretoria.” MK—as it was known—was the armed wing of the African National Congress, South Africa’s liberation movement, that challenged the South African apartheid government. A small group of revolutionaries committed to the seizure of power, MK discovered its principal members engaged in negotiated settlement with the enemy and was disbanded soon after.
The history of MK is one of paradox and contradiction, of successes and failures. In this short study, which draws widely on the personal experiences of—and commentary by—MK soldiers, Janet Cherry offers a new and nuanced account of the Spear of the Nation. She presents in broad outline the various stages of MK’s thirty-year history, considers the difficult strategic and moral problems the revolutionary army faced, and argues that its operations are likely to be remembered as a just war conducted with considerable restraint.
During the worst years of apartheid, the most popular show on television in South Africa—among both Black and White South Africans—was The Cosby Show. Why did people living under a system built on the idea that Black people were inferior and threatening flock to a show that portrayed African Americans as comfortably mainstream? Starring Mandela and Cosby takes up this paradox, revealing the surprising impact of television on racial politics.
The South African government maintained a ban on television until 1976, and according to Ron Krabill, they were right to be wary of its potential power. The medium, he contends, created a shared space for communication in a deeply divided nation that seemed destined for civil war along racial lines. At a time when it was illegal to publish images of Nelson Mandela, Bill Cosby became the most recognizable Black man in the country, and, Krabill argues, his presence in the living rooms of white South Africans helped lay the groundwork for Mandela’s release and ascension to power.
Weaving together South Africa’s political history and a social history of television, Krabill challenges conventional understandings of globalization, offering up new insights into the relationship between politics and the media.
South African rooibos tea is a commodity of contrasts. Renowned for its healing properties, the rooibos plant grows in a region defined by the violence of poverty, dispossession, and racism. And while rooibos is hailed as an ecologically indigenous commodity, it is farmed by people who struggle to express “authentic” belonging to the land: Afrikaners, who espouse a “white” African indigeneity, and “coloureds,” who are characterized either as the mixed-race progeny of “extinct” Bushmen or as possessing a false identity, indigenous to nowhere. In Steeped in Heritage Sarah Ives explores how these groups advance alternate claims of indigeneity based on the cultural ownership of an indigenous plant. This heritage-based struggle over rooibos shows how communities negotiate landscapes marked by racial dispossession within an ecosystem imperiled by climate change and precarious social relations in the postapartheid era.
Lindy Wilson Ohio University Press, 2011 Library of Congress DT779.8.B48W55 2012 | Dewey Decimal 968.06092
Steve Biko inspired a generation of black South Africans to claim their true identity and refuse to be a part of their own oppression. Through his example, he demonstrated fearlessness and self-esteem, and he led a black student movement countrywide that challenged and thwarted the culture of fear perpetuated by the apartheid regime. He paid the highest price with his life. The brutal circumstances of his death shocked the world and helped isolate his oppressors.
This short biography of Biko shows how fundamental he was to the reawakening and transformation of South Africa in the second half of the twentieth century—and just how relevant he remains. Biko’s understanding of black consciousness as a weapon of change could not be more relevant today to “restore people to their full humanity.”
As an important historical study, this book’s main sources were unique interviews done in 1989—before the end of apartheid—by the author with Biko’s acquaintances, many of whom have since died.
Point Place stands near the city center of Durban, South Africa. Condemned and off the grid, the five-story apartment building is nonetheless home to a hundred-plus teenagers and young adults marginalized by poverty and chronic unemployment. In Street Life under a Roof , Emily Margaretten draws on ten years of up-close fieldwork to explore the distinct cultural universe of the Point Place community. Margaretten's sensitive investigations reveal how young men and women draw on customary notions of respect and support to forge an ethos of connection and care that allows them to live far richer lives than ordinarily assumed. Her discussion of gender dynamics highlights terms like nakana --to care about or take notice of another--that young women and men use to construct "outside" and "inside" boyfriends and girlfriends and to communicate notions of trust. Margaretten exposes the structures of inequality at a local, regional, and global level that contribute to socioeconomic and political dislocation. But she also challenges the idea that Point Place's marginalized residents need "rehabilitation." As she argues, these young men and women want love, secure homes, and the means to provide for their dependents--in short, the same hopes and aspirations mirrored across South African society.
Synthesizing Hope opens up the material and social world of pharmaceuticals by focusing on an unexpected place: iThemba Pharmaceuticals. Founded in 2009 with a name taken from the Zulu word for hope, the small South African startup with an elite international scientific board was tasked with drug discovery for tuberculosis, HIV, and malaria. Anne Pollock uses this company as an entry point for exploring how the location of scientific knowledge production matters, not only for the raw materials, manufacture, licensing, and distribution of pharmaceuticals but also for the making of basic scientific knowledge.
Consideration of this case exposes the limitations of global health frameworks that implicitly posit rich countries as the only sites of knowledge production. Analysis of iThemba identifies the problems inherent in global north/south divides at the same time as it highlights what is at stake in who makes knowledge and where. It also provides a concrete example for consideration of the contexts and practices of postcolonial science, its constraints, and its promise.
Synthesizing Hope explores the many legacies that create conditions of possibility for South African drug discovery, especially the specific form of settler colonialism characterized by apartheid and resource extraction. Paying attention to the infrastructures and laboratory processes of drug discovery underscores the materiality of pharmaceuticals from the perspective of their makers, and tracing the intellectual and material infrastructures of South African drug discovery contributes new insights about larger social, political, and economic orders.
Adekeye Adebajo Ohio University Press, 2017 Library of Congress DT1949.M434A34 2017 | Dewey Decimal 968.072
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki is a complex figure. He was a committed young Marxist who, while in power, embraced conservative economic policies and protected white corporate interests; a rational and dispassionate thinker who was particularly sensitive to criticism and dissent; and a champion of African self-reliance who relied excessively on foreign capital.
As a key liberation leader in exile, he was instrumental in the ANC’s antiapartheid struggle. Later, he helped build one of the world’s most respected constitutional democracies. As president, though, he was unable to overcome inherited socioeconomic challenges, and his disastrous AIDS policies will remain a major blotch on his legacy.
Mbeki is the most important African political figure of his generation. He will be remembered as a foreign policy president for his peacemaking efforts and his role in building continental institutions, not least of which was the African Union. In this concise biography, ideally suited for the classroom, Adekeye Adebajo seeks to illuminate Mbeki’s contradictions and situate him in a pan-African pantheon.
To Swim with Crocodiles: Land, Violence, and Belonging in South Africa, 1800–1996 offers a fresh perspective on the history of rural politics in South Africa, from the rise of the Zulu kingdom to the civil war at the dawn of democracy in KwaZulu-Natal. The book shows how Africans in the Table Mountain region drew on the cultural inheritance of ukukhonza—a practice of affiliation that binds together chiefs and subjects—to seek social and physical security in times of war and upheaval. Grounded in a rich combination of archival sources and oral interviews, this book examines relations within and between chiefdoms to bring wider concerns of African studies into focus, including land, violence, chieftaincy, ethnic and nationalist politics, and development. Colonial indirect rule, segregation, and apartheid attempted to fix formerly fluid polities into territorial “tribes” and ethnic identities, but the Zulu practice of ukukhonza maintained its flexibility and endured. By exploring what Zulu men and women knew about and how they remembered ukukhonza, Kelly reveals how Africans envisioned and defined relationships with the land, their chiefs, and their neighbors as white minority rule transformed the countryside and local institutions of governance.
Crossing the remote, southern tip of Africa has fired the imagination of European travellers from the time Bartholomew Dias opened up the passage to the East by rounding the Cape of Good Hope in 1488. Dutch, British, French, Danes, and Swedes formed an endless stream of seafarers who made the long journey southwards in pursuit of wealth, adventure, science, and missionary, as well as outright national, interest. Beginning by considering the early hunter-gatherer inhabitants of the Cape and their culture, Malcolm Jack focuses in his account on the encounter that the European visitors had with the Khoisan peoples, sometimes sympathetic but often exploitative from the time of the Portuguese to the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1833. This commercial and colonial background is key to understanding the development of the vibrant city that is modern Cape Town, as well as the rich diversity of the Cape hinterland.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
The companion to Allister Sparks's award-winning The Mind of South Africa, this book is an extraordinary account from South Africa's premier journalist of the negotiating process that led to majority rule. Tomorrow is Another Country retells the story of the behind-the-scenes collaborations that started with a meeting between Kobie Coetsee, then minister of justice, and Nelson Mandela in 1985. By 1986, negotiations involved senior government officials, intelligence agents, and the African National Congress. For the next four years, they assembled in places such as a gamepark lodge, the Palace Hotel in Lucerne, Switzerland, a fishing hideaway, and even in a hospital room. All the while, De Klerk's campaign assured white constituents nothing would change. Sparks shows how the key players, who began with little reason to trust one another, developed friendships which would later play a crucial role in South Africa's struggle to end apartheid.
"A gripping, fast-paced, authoritative account of the long and mostly secret negotiations that brought South Africa's bitter conflict to its near-miraculous end. Sparks's description of these talks sometimes brings a lump to one's throat. He shows how the participants' deep mutual suspicion was gradually replaced by excitement at the prospect of making a momentous agreement—and also by the dawning realization that the people on the other side were human beings, perhaps even decent human beings."—Adam Hochschild, New York Times Book Review
"A splendid and original history. . . . Sparks's skillful weaving of myriad strands—Mandela's secret sessions with the committee, the clandestine talks in England between the African National Congress and the government, the back-channel communications between Mandela and the A.N.C. in exile, the trepidation of Botha and the apparent transformation of his successor, De Klerk—possesses the drama and intrigue of a diplomatic whodunit."—Richard Stengel, Time
"Sparks offers many reasons for hope, but the most profound of them is the story this book tells."—Jacob Weisberg, Washington Post
"The most riveting of the many [accounts] that have been published about the end of apartheid."—The Economist
In the years between the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960 and the Soweto Uprising of 1976—a period that was both the height of the apartheid system in South Africa and, in retrospect, the beginning of its end—Harold Scheub went to Africa to collect stories.
With tape-recorder and camera in hand, Scheub registered the testaments of Swati, Xhosa, Ndebele, and Zulu storytellers, farming people who lived in the remote reaches of rural South Africa. While young people fought in the streets of Soweto and South African writers made the world aware of apartheid’s evils, the rural storytellers resisted apartheid in their own way, using myth and metaphor to preserve their traditions and confront their oppressors. For more than 20 years, Scheub kept the promise he made to the storytellers to publish his translations of their stories only when freedom came to South Africa. The Tongue Is Fire presents these voices of South African oral tradition—the historians, the poets, the epic-performers, the myth-makers—documenting their enduring faith in the power of the word to sustain tradition in the face of determined efforts to distort or eliminate it. These texts are a tribute to the storytellers who have always, in periods of crisis, exercised their art to inspire their own people.
In June 2009, Richard Goldstone was a global hero, honored by the MacArthur Foundation for its prize in international justice. Four months later, he was called a “quisling” and compared to some of the worst traitors in human history. Why? Because this champion of human rights and international law chose to apply his commitments to fairness and truth to his own community.
The Trials of Richard Goldstone tells the story of this extraordinary individual and the price he paid for his convictions. It describes how Goldstone, working as a judge in apartheid South Africa, helped to undermine this unjust system and later, at Nelson Mandela’s request, led a commission that investigated cases of racial violence and intimidation. It also considers the international renown he received as the chief United Nations prosecutor for war crimes committed in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, the first tribunals to try political and military leaders on charges of genocide. Finally, it explores how Goldstone became a controversial figure in the wake of the Jewish jurist’s powerful, but flawed, investigation of Israel for alleged war crimes in Gaza.
Richard Goldstone’s dramatic life story reveals that even in a world rife with prejudice, nationalism, and contempt for human rights, one courageous man can advance the cause of justice.
In this book, renowned anthropologists Jean and John L. Comaroff make a startling but absolutely convincing claim about our modern era: it is not by our arts, our politics, or our science that we understand ourselves—it is by our crimes. Surveying an astonishing range of forms of crime and policing—from petty thefts to the multibillion-dollar scams of too-big-to-fail financial institutions to the collateral damage of war—they take readers into the disorder of the late modern world. Looking at recent transformations in the triangulation of capital, the state, and governance that have led to an era where crime and policing are ever more complicit, they offer a powerful meditation on the new forms of sovereignty, citizenship, class, race, law, and political economy of representation that have arisen.
To do so, the Comaroffs draw on their vast knowledge of South Africa, especially, and its struggle to build a democracy founded on the rule of law out of the wreckage of long years of violence and oppression. There they explore everything from the fascination with the supernatural in policing to the extreme measures people take to prevent home invasion, drawing illuminating comparisons to the United States and United Kingdom. Going beyond South Africa, they offer a global criminal anthropology that attests to criminality as the constitutive fact of contemporary life, the vernacular by which politics are conducted, moral panics voiced, and populations ruled.
The result is a disturbing but necessary portrait of the modern era, one that asks critical new questions about how we see ourselves, how we think about morality, and how we are going to proceed as a global society.
In 1995, South Africa’s new government set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a lynchpin of the country’s journey forward from apartheid. In contrast to the Nuremberg Trials and other retributive responses to atrocities, the TRC’s emphasis on reconciliation marked a restorative approach to addressing human rights violations and their legacies. The hearings, headed by Bishop Desmond Tutu, began in spring of 1996.
The commission was set up with three purposes: to investigate abuses, to assist victims with rehabilitation, and to consider perpetrators’ requests for amnesty. More than two decades after the first hearings, the TRC’s legacy remains mixed. Many families still do not know what became of their loved ones, and the commission came under legal challenges both from ex-president F. W. de Klerk and the African National Congress. Yet, the TRC fulfilled a vital role in the transition from apartheid to democracy, and has become a model for other countries.
This latest addition to the Ohio Short Histories of Africa series is a trenchant look at the TRC’s entire, stunningly ambitious project. And as a longtime activist for justice in South Africa and a former commissioner of the TRC, Mary Ingouville Burton is uniquely positioned to write this complex story.
How can we account for the apparent increase in ethnic violence across the globe? Donald L. Donham develops a methodology for understanding violence that shows why this question needs to be recast. He examines an incident that occurred at a South African gold mine at the moment of the 1994 elections that brought apartheid to a close. Black workers ganged up on the Zulus among them, killing two and injuring many more. While nearly everyone came to characterize the conflict as “ethnic,” Donham argues that heightened ethnic identity was more an outcome of the violence than its cause. Based on his careful reconstruction of events, he contends that the violence was not motivated by hatred of an ethnic other. It emerged, rather, in ironic ways, as capitalist managers gave up apartheid tactics and as black union activists took up strategies that departed from their stated values. National liberation, as it actually occurred, was gritty, contradictory, and incomplete. Given unusual access to the mine, Donham comes to this conclusion based on participant observation, review of extensive records, and interviews conducted over the course of a decade. Violence in a Time of Liberation is a kind of murder mystery that reveals not only who did it but also the ways that narratives of violence, taken up by various media, create ethnic violence after the fact.
South Africa is recognized as a site of both political turmoil and natural beauty, and yet little work has been done in connecting these defining national characteristics. Washed with Sun achieves this conjunction in its multidisciplinary study of South Africa as a space at once natural and constructed. Weaving together practical, aesthetic, and ideological analyses, Jeremy Foster examines the role of landscape in forming the cultural iconographies and spatialities that shaped the imaginary geography of emerging nationhood. Looking in particular at the years following the British victory in the second Boer War, from 1902 to 1930, Foster discusses the influence of painting, writing, architecture, and photography on the construction of a shared, romanticized landscape subjectivity that was perceived as inseparable from “being South African,” and thus helped forge the imagined community of white South Africa.
In its innovative approach to South Africa's history, Washed with Sun breaks important new ground, combining the persuasive theory of cultural geography with the material specificity of landscape history.
Since the late 1940s, a violent African criminal society known as the Marashea has operated in and around South Africa’s gold mining areas. With thousands of members involved in drug smuggling, extortion, and kidnapping, the Marashea was more influential in the day-to-day lives of many black South Africans under apartheid than were agents of the state. These gangs remain active in South Africa.
In We Are Fighting the World: A History of the Marashea Gangs in South Africa, 1947–1999, Gary Kynoch points to the combination of coercive force and administrative weakness that characterized the apartheid state. As long as crime and violence were contained within black townships and did not threaten adjacent white areas, township residents were largely left to fend for themselves. The Marashea’s ability to prosper during the apartheid era and its involvement in political conflict led directly to the violent crime epidemic that today plagues South Africa.
Highly readable and solidly researched, We Are Fighting the World is critical to an understanding of South African society, past and present. This pioneering study challenges previous social history research on resistance, ethnicity, urban spaces, and gender in South Africa. Kynoch’s interviews with many current and former gang members give We Are Fighting the World an energy and a realism that are unparalleled in any other published work on gang violence in southern Africa.
This book tells the story of how the transition to democracy in South Africa enfranchised blacks politically but without raising most of them from poverty. It shows in detail how the continuing strength of the white establishment forces the leaders of the African National Congress (ANC) to compromise plans for full political and economic transformation.
The transition to democracy in South Africa was one of the defining events in twentieth-century political history. The South African women’s movement is one of the most celebrated on the African continent. Shireen Hassim examines interactions between the two as she explores the gendered nature of liberation and regime change. Her work reveals how women’s political organizations both shaped and were shaped by the broader democratic movement. Alternately asserting their political independence and giving precedence to the democratic movement as a whole, women activists proved flexible and remarkably successful in influencing policy. At the same time, their feminism was profoundly shaped by the context of democratic and nationalist ideologies. In reading the last twenty-five years of South African history through a feminist framework, Hassim offers fresh insights into the interactions between civil society, political parties, and the state.
Hassim boldly confronts sensitive issues such as the tensions between autonomy and political dependency in feminists’ engagement with the African National Congress (ANC) and other democratic movements, and black-white relations within women’s organizations. She offers a historically informed discussion of the challenges facing feminist activists during a time of nationalist struggle and democratization.
Winner, Victoria Schuck Award for best book on women and politics, American Political Science Association
“An exceptional study, based on extensive research. . . . Highly recommended.”—Choice
“A rich history of women’s organizations in South African . . . . [Hassim] had observed at first hand, and often participated in, much of what she described. She had access to the informants and private archives that so enliven the narrative and enrich the analysis. She provides a finely balanced assessment.”—Gretchen Bauer, African Studies Review
A century after the South African War (1899-1902), historians are beginning to reevaluate the accepted wisdom regarding the scope of the war, its participants, and its impact. Writing a Wider War charts some of the changing historical constructions of the memorialization of suffering during the war.
Writing a Wider War presents a dramatically new interpretation of the role of Boer women in the conflict and profoundly changes how we look at the making of Afrikaner nationalism. African experiences of the war are also examined, highlighting racial subjugation in the context of colonial war and black participation, and showcasing important new research by African historians.
The collection includes a reassessment of British imperialism and probing essays on J. A. Hobson; the masculinist nature of life on commando among Boer soldiers; Anglo-Jewry; secularism; health and medicine; nursing, women, and disease in the concentration camps; and the rivalry between British politicians and generals. An examination of the importance of the South African War in contemporary British political economy, and the part played by imperial propaganda, rounds off a thoroughly groundbreaking reinterpretation of this formative event in South Africa's history.