Cover image for South Africa in the twentieth century : a political history--in search of a nation state
South Africa in the twentieth century : a political history--in search of a nation state
Barber, James, 1931-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oxford ; Malden, Mass. : Blackwell Publishers, 1999.
Physical Description:
xi, 332 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm.
Clash of British imperialism and Afrikaner nationalism -- White union and Black reaction -- World War II and Apartheid -- Wind of change -- Renewed Black challenge -- Forging the new South Africa.

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DT1945 .B37 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This book gives an account of the turbulent and remarkable political history of South Africa in the twentieth century, starting with the South African (Boer) War and finishing as Nelson Mandela comes to power.

Author Notes

Professor James Barber is a member of the Centre of International Studies at Cambridge University, and a Fellow of the South African Institute of International Affairs. Previously he was Master of Hatfield College, and Professor of Politics at Durham University. He has published extensively on Southern African affairs including Rhodesia: The Road to Rebellion (1967); South Africa's Foreign Policy: 1945-1970 (1973); The Uneasy Relationship: Britain and South Africa (1983); and South Africa's Foreign Policy: The Search for Status and Security (1990 with John Barratt). He has also published on British politics including The Prime Minister since 1945 (Blackwell, 1991).

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Barber, a well-known Cambridge (UK)-based specialist on South Africa, has written a detailed, interesting, and accurate analysis of an extraordinary country during an exceptional time. He contrasts different ways in which participants have depicted the South African nation--as a congeries of ethnic groups versus a potential locus of "civic nationalism." Barber's balanced exposition draws from the dramatic revelations about the apartheid regime, including the extensive report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Half of his volume is devoted to the background to apartheid, starting with the Anglo-Boer War and the crucial 1948 election; the remainder covers the "wind of change" from 1960 to 1997, marked by events such as Sharpeville or Soweto and prominent personalities such as Mandela, Biko, P.W. Botha, or F.W. de Klerk. The pragmatism of the negotiation of the interim constitution and establishment of new, nonracial parts of government is well depicted. Barber's historical scope is larger than Allister H. Sparks, Tomorrow Is Another Country (1996), or Patti Waldmeir, Anatomy of a Miracle (CH, Jul'97), but more restricted than L. M. Thompson, A History of South Africa(1990). A necessary companion to volumes about Mandela, such as his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom (CH, Apr'95), or Anthony Sampson's excellent recent biography Mandela (CH, Mar'00). C. E. Welch; SUNY at Buffalo

Table of Contents

Part 1 The Clash of British Imperialism and Afrikaner Nationalism
1 Prelude to War: Afrikaner and British Imperial Nationalism
2 War, Peace and Reconstruction
3 Afrikaners, Blacks and Reconstruction
Part 2 The White Union and Black Reaction
4 Responsible Government and the Union
5 The New Union: White and Black Political Activity
6 The Great War and its Aftermath
7 The Pact Government and Segregation 1924-9
8 From Pact to Fusion: Economic Depression and Black Opposition: 1929-39
Part 3 World War II and Apartheid
9 World War II and its Aftermath 1939-48
10 African Nationalism Transformed: 1939-48
11 The National Party Government 1948-61
12 African Opposition: Communists, Congress and the Pan Africanist Congress
Part 4 The Wind of Change
13 The New Republic, Sharpeville and the Granite Response
14 Vorster and the Development of the Bantustans
15 Black Resistance Inside and Outside the Republic
Part 5 Renewed Black Challenge
16 Soweto and its Aftermath
17 Reform, Security and White Divisions UnderP. W. Botha
18 The Black Rising: and Answering Fire with Fire
19 Retreat from the Rubicon: The Failure of Reform
Part 6 Forging the New South Africa
20 In Search of a New South Africa
21 Reaching Agreement: Negotiation, Tension and Violence
22 Towards the Promised Land