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Apartheid’s Genesis

Edited by Philip Bonner, Peter Delius, and Deborah Posel

“The editors…are among South Africa’s best-known historians and historical sociologists, and in an excellent introduction they underscore the contemporary relevance of their historical material. The collection is particularly valuable for its carefully documented attention to difference.”

Gay W. Seidman, Political Processes

“The essays are both provocative and illuminating…This collection makes a major contribution by documenting a deeper and more varied resistance than is found in most contemporary studies. It both outlines the territory for future research and makes a substantial beginning in that quest.”

J. A. Works Jr., Choice

Apartheid is synonymous in most people's minds with a virulent form of racial ideology and social engineering. Yet ideologies of racial domination and segregation long preceded apartheid, and cannot by themselves explain the shift in racial domination that apartheid involved.

Focusing on the period 1935–1962, this collection explores the dynamics which molded apartheid. Processes of migrancy and urbanization engendered a myriad of public and private struggles which shaped the terrain traversed by both African and Afrikaner nationalisms. Many of apartheid’s central elements grew out of the state’s responses to the intensifying contradictions of industrialization, urbanization and popular struggle.

Apartheid’s Genesis provides an important reconceptualization of this transformation as well as a host of new insights into the particular dynamics at work.

Philip Bonner is professor of urban and labour history at the University of the Witwatersrand. He is also a member of the University of the Witwatersrand’s history workshop.

Peter Delius is associate professor of history at the University of the Witwatersrand. He is also a member of the University of the Witwatersrand’s history workshop.

Deborah Posel is a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand. All three are members of the University of the Witwatersrand’s History Workshop.

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