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South Africa

South Africa Book List

Cover of 'Land, Memory, Reconstruction, and Justice'

Land, Memory, Reconstruction, and Justice
Perspectives on Land Claims in South Africa
By Cherryl Walker, Anna Bohlin, Ruth Hall, and Thembela Kepe

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.

Cover of 'Land, Power, and Custom'

Land, Power, and Custom
Controversies Generated by South Africa’s Communal Land Rights Act
Edited by Aninka Claassens and Ben Cousins

Land tenure rights are a burning issue in South Africa, as in Africa more widely. Land, Power, and Custom explores the implications of the controversial 2004 Communal Land Rights Act, criticized for reinforcing the apartheid power structure and ignoring the interests of the common people.

Cover of 'Unconquerable Spirit'

Unconquerable Spirit
George Stow’s History Painting of the San
By Pippa Skotnes

George Stow was a Victorian man of many parts—poet, historian, ethnographer, artist, cartographer, and prolific writer. A geologist by profession, he became acquainted, through his work in the field, with the extraordinary wealth of rock paintings in the caves and shelters of the South African interior. Enchanted and absorbed by them, Stow set out to create a record of this creative work of the people who had tracked and marked the South African landscape decades and centuries before him.

2009 Herskovits Award finalist
Cover of 'Healing Traditions'

Healing Traditions
African Medicine, Cultural Exchange, and Competition in South Africa, 1820–1948
By Karen E. Flint

Healing Traditions offers a historical perspective to the interactions between South Africa’s traditional healers and biomedical practitioners. It provides an understanding that is vital for the development of medical strategies to effectively deal with South Africa’s healthcare challenges.

Cover of 'Landmarked'

Landmarked
Land Claims and Land Restitution in South Africa
By Cherryl Walker

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.

Cover of 'Slavery, Emancipation and Colonial Rule in South Africa'

Slavery, Emancipation and Colonial Rule in South Africa
By Wayne Dooling

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.

Cover of 'Constructive Engagement?'

Constructive Engagement?
Chester Crocker & American Policy in South Africa, Namibia & Angola, 1981–1988
By J. E. Davies

The notion of engagement represents an indispensable tool in a foreign policy practitioner’s armory. The idea of constructive engagement is forwarded by governments as a method whereby pressure can be brought to bear on countries to improve their record on human rights, while diplomatic and economic contracts can be maintained. But does this approach succeed?

2009 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title  · A Library Journal “Editor’s Pick”
Cover of 'Claim to the Country'

Claim to the Country
The Archive of Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd
By Pippa Skotnes

In the 1870s, facing cultural extinction and the death of their language, several San men and women told their stories to two pioneering colonial scholars in Cape Town, Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd. The narratives of these San—or Bushmen—were of the land, the rain, the history of the first people, and the origin of the moon and stars.

Cover of 'Sorcery and Sovereignty'

Sorcery and Sovereignty
Taxation, Power, and Rebellion in South Africa, 1880–1963
By Sean Redding

Rebellions broke out in many areas of South Africa shortly after the institution of white rule in the late nineteenth century and continued into the next century. However, distrust of the colonial regime reached a new peak in the mid-twentieth century, when revolts erupted across a wide area of rural South Africa. All these uprisings were rooted in grievances over taxes.

Cover of 'A Burning Hunger'

A Burning Hunger
One Family’s Struggle Against Apartheid
By Lynda Schuster

A Burning Hunger shows the human catastrophe that plagued generations of black Africans in the powerful story of one religious and law-abiding Soweto family. Basing her narrative on extensive research and interviews, Lynda Schuster richly portrays this remarkable family and in so doing reveals black South Africa during a time of momentous change.

A 2007 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title
Cover of 'The Forgotten Frontier'

The Forgotten Frontier
Colonist and Khoisan on the Cape's Northern Frontier in the 18th Century
By Nigel Penn

Traditionally, the Eastern Cape frontier of South Africa has been regarded as the preeminent contact zone between colonists and the Khoi—“Hottentots”—and San—“Bushmen.” But there was an earlier frontier in which the conflict between Dutch colonists and these indigenous herders and hunters was in many ways more decisive in its outcome, more brutal and violent in its manner, and just as significant in its effects on later South African history.

Cover of 'Not White Enough, Not Black Enough'

Not White Enough, Not Black Enough
Racial Identity in the South African Coloured Community
By Mohamed Adhikari

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.

Cover of 'We Are Fighting the World'

We Are Fighting the World
A History of the Marashea Gangs in South Africa, 1947–1999
By Gary Kynoch

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.

Choice Outstanding Academic Title
Cover of 'Theatres of Struggle and the End of Apartheid'

Theatres of Struggle and the End of Apartheid
By Belinda Bozzoli

A compelling study of the origins and trajectory of one of the legendary black uprisings against apartheid, Theatres of Struggle and the End of Apartheid draws on insights gained from the literature on collective action and social movements. It delves into the Alexandra Rebellion of 1986 to reveal its inner workings.

Cover of 'Hostels, Sexuality, and the Apartheid Legacy'

Hostels, Sexuality, and the Apartheid Legacy
Malevolent Geographies
By Glen S. Elder

In the last decade, the South African state has been transformed dramatically, but the stubborn, menacing geography of apartheid still stands in the way of that country's visions of change. Environmentally degraded old homelands still scar the rural geography of South Africa. Formerly segregated, now gated, neighborhoods still inhibit free movement. Hostels, Sexuality, and the Apartheid Legacy is a study of another such space, the converted “male” migrant worker hostel.