Lessons of Struggle: South African Internal Opposition, 1960-1990

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9780195073485: Lessons of Struggle: South African Internal Opposition, 1960-1990
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Providing an in-depth analysis of thirty years of South African opposition, this work focuses on the development of the Black Consciousness movement founded by Steve Biko, the ANC-aligned United Democratic Front, and the burgeoning trade unions, and examines how each group's ideology, in regards to racial assertiveness, national unity, and class organization, influenced each other's and shaped popular activism. Presenting the South African conflict in the context of general theoretical debates on the role of ideas in shaping social change and theories of race, nation, class, and revolution, Marx assesses the lessons learned in the process of the South African struggle and not only explains recent events in South Africa, but also suggests the likely implications of these past patterns of conflict on future developments. Based on unique interviews and previously undisclosed or undigested internal organizational documents, Lessons of Struggle will be invaluable to all those interested in the South African conflict.

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About the Author:

Anthony W. Marx is at Columbia University.

Review:


"Anthony Marx has marshalled his evidence ably, and exceptionally carefully....I believe this is the finest work available on South Africa's internal opposition. The sheer breadth of scholarship has been executed with such a deft hand that we are fortunate to have before us an argumant endowed with considerable explanatory power. This is an all-too-rare experience for keen observers of the South African landscape. Take heart, however: Lessons of Struggle is a gem."--Ralph Lawrence, University of Natal in The International Journal of African Historical Studies


"The most comprehensive and analytically incisive study to date of the three principal strands of South African internal opposition: Black Consciousness, the African National Congress Charterists, and the black labor movement....A major contribution to our understanding of a significant part of South Africa's current politics. More generally, it should be read with profit by students of nationalism, rebellion, and social movements in comparative perspective."--Political Science Quarterly


"A good, readable introduction to and analysis of black resistance in South Africa over the last 3 decades. It is great for those who want to distinguish among the activities and positions of the various groups."--Roy Finkenbine, Murray State University


"Engaged, balanced and resourceful scholarship...provides an insightful, historically grounded analysis of the character, strategies and prospects of South Africa's ascendant political opposition. This timely study is must preparation for those of us wishing to follow and understand an emergent political drama in which South Africa's opposition expects to negotiate and dominate the political future of a country that has been seen as a quintessential, global symbol of racial injustice."--John A. Marcum, University of California


"A richly textured and timely discussion of the peoples' movements during the years we spent on Robben island and in exile. We are lucky to have such an insightful analyst."--Walter Sisulu, African National Congress


"Instead of blathering abstractly about the relations among ideology, interest, and action, Anthony Marx plunges into the analysis of changing South African realities. The result is not only great insight into the struggles of yesterday, today, and tomorrow in South Africa, but also a substantial contribution to our general understanding of collective action."--Charles Tilly, New School for Social Research


"Provides illuminating analytical propositions in regard to the relationship between political ideas and social structures, in addition to detailed original material drawn from a surprising array of interviews with activists spanning the political spectrum. It is bound to become required reading for South Africanists."--Dr. Neville Alexander, University of Cape Town


"With penetrating insight, Tony Marx dissects the ideas and strategies of the major movements challenging the apartheid regime. He makes a convincing case for the importance of ideology in the development of radical oppositional movements. His arguments will influence not only those riveted by the current transformations in South Africa, but also students of social movements and revolutions across the globe."--Theda Skocpol, Harvard University


"One of the most revealing studies of South Africa in a decade, based on interviews with a wide variety of opposition figures. Marx reveals the class and ethnic base of different parts of the opposition and gives valuable insights into the prospects for future conflict and cohesion within these groups."--Henry Bienen, Princeton University


"An outstanding, powerful book that will be widely cited. Marx makes a major contribution simply by telling this story in so much detail and with such empathy for the astonishing array of actors and positions. In addition, his theoretical grasp enables him to make sense at the broadest level of what he correctly calls one of the biggest issues in social science--the relative weights of material structures and individuals' ideas in shaping political change and continuity."--Jennifer Hochschild, Princeton University


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