IN THE NAME OF APARTHEID: South Africa in the Postwar Era by Martin Meredith

IN THE NAME OF APARTHEID: South Africa in the Postwar Era

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Just as he did in The First Dance of Freedom: Black Africa in the Postwar Era (1985), here Meredith looks at his new subject--South Africa--since WW II. The author has been a foreign correspondent and a research fellow at Oxford, and has also written The Past is Another Country (1979). Each of the 21 short chapters is like a minicourse in South African affairs, highlighting the sheer vigor with which Afrikaaner nationalists took control and enforced white rule, uprooting millions from their homes and treating millions of other blacks as mere labor units. Meredith writes on the origins of apartheid, its impact on the various populations, and the different means of resistance that have grown over the years to oppose the system (including passive resistance, sabotage attacks, student riots, guerrilla activity, and township rebellion). He also offers pithy observations about the many leaders on both sides--e.g., Jan Smuts, Verwoerd, Vorster, P.W. Botha, Mandela, Tombo, Lutuli, and Biko. One of the biggest villains in Meredith's view is the international community, which he condemns for being quick to criticize apartheid but not as quick to take action against it. An excellent, fact-filled summary of a complex problem, one that should assist anyone confused by the issues in understanding the forces of history at work in South Africa.

Pub Date: Oct. 12th, 1988
Publisher: Harper & Row