CRISIS IN SOUTH AFRICA by Robin McKown

CRISIS IN SOUTH AFRICA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

McKown's well-constructed history of South Africa can lead to only one conclusion -- condemnation of its racial policies, a judgment which he outspokenly pursues, from pointing out the ironies behind the tourist paradise pictured in SATOUR brochures to his analysis of apartheid's effects: a critical shortage of skilled labor, international isolation and a rising crime rate (indicative of a ""brutalized"" society). Focusing on relations among the various groups (which began with intermarriage between Hottentots and Boers), he refutes the oft-repeated contention that the Africans (Bantus) arrived at the same time (or later than) Europeans and discusses the internal dislocations of the Time of Troubles which debilitated the tribal societies. The Boer-Anglo antagonism (cultural isolationism vs. superficial liberalism) is portrayed as largely irrelevant to the concerns of the black population, and the policies of the well-entrenched Nationalist Party are reviewed in detail. The political focus makes for a more depressing outlook than Alan Paton's blander and somewhat younger-oriented Land and People of South Africa (1964), but the argument is well-documented and incisive.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1971
Publisher: Putnam