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Introduction

  • John D. Brewer

Abstract

‘The fate of books’, wrote Terentianus Marus in ad 200 ‘depends on the capacity of the reader.’ By this I take it that he meant that some books are hardly ever read, some are read and quickly forgotten, while others create so many resonances for their readers that they survive the vagaries of time and fashion. R. W. Johnson’s book How Long Will South Africa Survive? was one of the latter.1 Of course, these resonances derive from many sources — fine prose, illuminating insight and convincing argument among them. Johnson’s reviewers found none of these. Many criticised the lack of documentation and citation that could have made his argument more persuasive. They found the style rather journalistic and the insights too few.2 But the general theme of a book can also give it influence, so that its resonances are to be found in its association with a recurring issue which is of continuing importance. There can be few topics of such universal interest as the survival of apartheid in South Africa, and Johnson’s book was the first directly to address this theme, and in many people’s minds has been associated with it ever since.

Keywords

African National Congress White Supremacy Black Middle Classis South African State United Democratic Front 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    R. W. Johnson, How Long Will South Africa Survive?, London, Macmillan Press, 1977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    For a sample of the reviews see: Heribert Adam in the Canadian Journal of African Studies, 12, 1978;Google Scholar
  3. Valentine Belifiglio, ‘How Will Majority Rule Come About in Azania/South Africa?’, Journal of Modern African Studies, 21, 1983;Google Scholar
  4. Gwendolen Carter in the American Political Science Review 73, 1979;Google Scholar
  5. Simon Clarke in the Journal of Southern African Studies, 3–4, 1976–78;Google Scholar
  6. Adrian Guelke, ‘Change in South African Politics?’, Political Studies, 31, 1983;Google Scholar
  7. Richard Hodder-Williams, ‘Well, Will South Africa Survive?’, African Affairs, 80, 1981;Google Scholar
  8. B. Huber in the Journal of Modern African Studies, 18, 1980;Google Scholar
  9. Luke Malaba in the Review of African Political Economy 10, 1977;Google Scholar
  10. M. Midlane, ‘The Crisis Facing South Africa: Has The Twelfth Hour Passed?’, Round Table, 69, 1979;Google Scholar
  11. C. Stevens in the Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics 16–17, 1978–79.Google Scholar
  12. 3.
    For the debate see among others: H. Adam and H. Giliomee, Ethnic Power Mobilized: Can South Africa Change?, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1979;Google Scholar
  13. O. Aluko and T. Shaw (ed.), Southern Africa in the 1980s, London, Allen and Unwin, 1985;Google Scholar
  14. J. Barber, J. Blumenfeld and C. Hill, South Africa and the West, London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1982;Google Scholar
  15. Gwendolen Carter, Which Way Is South Africa Going?, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1980;Google Scholar
  16. L. H. Gann and Peter Duignan, South Africa: War? Revolution? Peace?, Cape Town, Tafelberg, 1979;Google Scholar
  17. L. H. Gann and Peter Duignan, Why South Africa Will Survive, London, Croom Helm, 1981;Google Scholar
  18. C. Legum, The Western Crisis over Southern Africa, London, Holmes and Meier, 1979;Google Scholar
  19. R. Rotberg, Suffer The Future, London, Harvard University Press, 1980.Google Scholar
  20. 4.
    R. Dale, ‘South Africa and the International Community’, World Politics 18, 1965–66, p.313.Google Scholar
  21. 7.
    A term taken from Kenneth Grundy, ‘The Rise of the South African Security Establishment’, Bradlow Paper no. 1, South African Institute of International Affairs, 1983.Google Scholar
  22. 8.
    For an extended discussion on the limits of ‘government-led reform’ see J. D. Brewer, After Soweto: An Unfinished Journey Oxford, The Clarendon Press, 1987, pp. 45–50;Google Scholar
  23. Sam Nolutshungu, Changing South Africa, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1982.Google Scholar
  24. 9.
    For example, the Centre for Southern African Studies at the University of York held a conference in 1986 on ‘The Southern African Economy After Apartheid’, and Heribert Adam and Kogila Moodley have written South Africa Without Apartheid, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1986.Google Scholar
  25. 10.
    For a selection see: J. Blumenfeld (ed.), South Africa in Crisis, London, Croom Helm, 1987;Google Scholar
  26. R. Cohen, Endgame in South Africa, London, James Currey, 1986;Google Scholar
  27. F. Parker, South Africa: Lost Opportunities, Aldershot, Gower, 1984;Google Scholar
  28. M. Murray, South Africa: Time of Agony, Time of Destiny, London, Verso, 1987;Google Scholar
  29. J. Saul and S. Gelb, The Crisis in South Africa, London, Zed Press, 1986;Google Scholar
  30. M. Uhlig (ed.), Apartheid in Crisis, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1986;Google Scholar
  31. H. Wolpe, ‘Apartheid’s Deepening Crisis’, Marxism Today, January 1983.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© John D. Brewer 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • John D. Brewer
    • 1
  1. 1.The Queen’s University of BelfastUK

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