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Southern Africa

Southern Africa Book List

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.

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.

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.

Cover of 'The  Bushmen of Southern Africa'

The Bushmen of Southern Africa
A Foraging Society in Transition
By Andy Smith, Candy Malherbe, Mat Gunther, and Penny Berens

This book, by an anthropologist, historian, social anthropologist, and schoolteacher, introduces the long history and current condition of the hunting people of southern Africa to students, teachers, and interested laypersons. It places the modern San in historical context and shows how they have continually adapted to outside pressures, which are forcing them to fit into the modern states of Namibia and Botswana.

Cover of 'Black Lawyers, White Courts'

Black Lawyers, White Courts
The Soul of South African Law
By Kenneth S. Broun
· Foreword by Julius L. Chambers

In the struggle against apartheid, one often overlooked group of crusaders was the coterie of black lawyers who overcame the Byzantine system that the government established oftentimes explicitly to block the paths of its black citizens from achieving justice. Now, in their own voices, we have the narratives of many of those lawyers as recounted in a series of oral interviews. Black Lawyers, White Courts is their story and the anti-apartheid story that has before now gone untold.

Cover of 'African Apocalypse'

African Apocalypse
The Story of Nontetha Nkwenkwe, a Twentieth-Century South African Prophet
By Robert R. Edgar and Hilary Sapire

The devastating influenza epidemic of 1918 ripped through southern Africa. In its aftermath, revivalist and millenarian movements sprouted. Prophets appeared bearing messages of resistance, redemption, and renewal. African Apocalypse: The Story of Nontetha Nkwenkwe, A Twentieth-Century Prophet is the remarkable story of one such prophet, a middle-aged Xhosa woman named Nontetha.

Cover of 'Herero Heroes'

Herero Heroes
A Socio-Political History of the Herero of Namibia, 1890–1923
By Jan-Bart Gewald

The Herero-German war led to the destruction of Herero society. Yet Herero society reemerged, reorganizing itself around the structures and beliefs of the German colonial army and Rhenish missionary activity. This book describes the manner in which the Herero of Namibia struggled to maintain control over their own freedom in the face of advancing German colonialism.

Cover of 'Colonization, Violence, and Narration in White South African Writing'

Colonization, Violence, and Narration in White South African Writing
André Brink, Breyten Breytenbach, and J. M. Coetzee
By Rosemary Jane Jolly

The representation of pain and suffering in narrative form is an ongoing ethical issue in contemporary South African literature. Can violence be represented without sensationalistic effects, or, alternatively, without effects that tend to be conservative because they place the reader in a position of superiority over the victim or the perpetrator?

Cover of 'The Decolonization of Africa'

The Decolonization of Africa
By David Birmingham

This bold, popularizing synthesis presents a readily accessible introduction to one of the major themes of twentieth-century world history. Between 1922, when self-government was restored to Egypt, and 1994, when nonracial democracy was achieved in South Africa, 54 new nations were established in Africa.

Cover of 'To Kill a Man’s Pride'

To Kill a Man’s Pride
And Other Short Stories from South Africa
Edited by Marcus Ramogale

The second edition of To Kill a Man’s Pride builds on the success of the previous edition of this anthology of South African short stories by retaining most of stories, but also featuring more women writers and new male voice, to make it more representative. The milieu remains unambiguously South African, with some stories set in rural areas such as the village, farm or dorp, and others in urban centers such as the big city, suburb or township.

Cover of 'The Migrant Farmer in the History of Cape Colony, 1657–1842'

The Migrant Farmer in the History of Cape Colony, 1657–1842
By P. J. van der Merwe

Petrus Johannes Van der Merwe wrote three of the most significant books on the history of South Africa before he was 35 years old. His trilogy, of which The Migrant Farmer is the first volume, has become a classic that no student of Cape colonial history of the seventeenth, eighteenth or nineteenth century can ignore.

Cover of 'Apartheid’s Genesis'

Apartheid’s Genesis
Edited by Philip Bonner, Peter Delius, and Deborah Posel

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.

Cover of 'A Bed Called Home'

A Bed Called Home
Life in the Migrant Labour Hostels of Cape Town
By Mamphela Ramphele
· Photography by Roger Meintjes

In the last three years the migrant labor hostels of South Africa, particularly those in the Transvaal, have gained international notoriety as theaters of violence. For many years they were hidden from public view and neglected by the white authorities. Now, it seems, hostel dwellers may have chosen physical violence to draw attention to the structural violence of their appalling conditions of life.