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Black Mountain: Land, Class and Power in the Eastern Orange Free State 1880s-1980s.

Murray, Colin

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ISBN 10: 1560982276 / ISBN 13: 9781560982272
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1992. Africa. Smithsonian Institution Press. 340p., very good cloth - fine and dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 1721104671

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Black Mountain: Land, Class and Power in the...

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

About this title


Black Mountain is a chronicle of the struggles of many of the people - black and white - whose lives were rooted in one district of the South Africa highveld over the last hundred years. Thaba Nchu (Black Mountain) was the territory of an independent Africa chiefdom until it was annexed by the Orange Free State Republic in 1884. By 1977, one-third of the original territory had emerged a part of "independent" Bophuthatswana, giving rise to acute inter-ethnic antagonisms. As a result, on an adjoining piece of bare veld, there sprang up the largest rural slum in South Africa, Botshabelo - a massive concentration of poverty and unemployment. The stories told by inhabitants of the slum in 1980 led Colin Murray to ask the questions that ultimately shaped this book.
Black Mountain is a "vast and complex jigsaw" assembled out of many disparate parts. The author complements obscure archival evidence with detailed oral history. In its rigorously limited focus on the experience of one district, the book illuminates all the important themes of the political economy of the rural highveld of South Africa from the mineral revolution of the late nineteenth century to the erosion of apartheid in the late twentieth century.

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