Loosing the Bonds: The United States and South Africa in the Apartheid Years

Overview

Loosing the Bonds is the dramatically told story of how South Africa and the United States became entangled in each other's struggle for justice in the second half of the twentieth century. At its core is the enduring issue of race; through its pages marches a parade of remarkable personalities - from John F. Kennedy to Nelson Mandela, from Martin Luther King to Desmond Tutu - all tested and tempered by this epic conflict.
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Overview

Loosing the Bonds is the dramatically told story of how South Africa and the United States became entangled in each other's struggle for justice in the second half of the twentieth century. At its core is the enduring issue of race; through its pages marches a parade of remarkable personalities - from John F. Kennedy to Nelson Mandela, from Martin Luther King to Desmond Tutu - all tested and tempered by this epic conflict.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Chronicling forces of conscience and protest, Massie bears witness to the power of the persistent, personal moral commitment in the United States and in South Africa that felled apartheid. In a fluid and sparkling debut reflecting his baccalaureate in history, doctorate in business, and teaching at the Harvard Divinity School, Massie focuses on America's relationship with South Africa since 1945 and on the affinities of shared colonial ancestry, overlapping values, and visions of apartheid and U.S. segregation that put the two at times in symbolic counterpoint. Insisting that the individual makes a difference in shaping history, Massie interweaves biographical portraits of such figures as Nelson Mandela, Hendrik Verwoerd, Helen Suzman, Desmond Tutu, Timothy Smith, Jennifer Davis, and Randall Robinson to illustrate the tenacity and courage that forged rival dreams of South Africa and internationalized the struggle. The rich dimensions of this readable tome make it essential for a range of collections in U.S. and South African domestic and foreign affairs. Highly recommended. [For more on the fight against apartheid, see the review of Randall Robinson's Defending the Spirit, p. 116.]Thomas Davis, Arizona State Univ., Tempe
Kirkus Reviews
A joint history of the US and South Africa that captures the passion and triumph of the anti-apartheid movement but neglects many of the underlying issues.

Massie, a historian who has taught at the Harvard Divinity School and the University of Cape Town, argues that the anti-apartheid movement, by mobilizing the world against the South African government, forced it finally to acknowledge the failure of its policy and, more profoundly, that "acts of protest and conscience . . . can gradually accumulate into an irresistible force for change." He deals remorselessly with the cruelty of apartheid and the ruthlessness with which the South African government crushed resistance, although very recent revelations have been even more damning. He is particularly good on the changing strategy of the anti-apartheid movement as it sought points of weakness and moved, as opportunity offered, from the UN to Congress, to the corporations, to state and local governments, and to South Africa's trade. He is somewhat uneven on the response of successive US administrations to developments in South Africa: full on the cautious pragmatism of Kennedy, neglectful of Johnson and Bush, more comprehensive on Carter, Nixon, and Reagan. The most curious omission is his failure to discuss the implications of the Cold War on moderate opinion both in South Africa and the US, particularly in the light of the close alliance of Africanists and Communists in the upper ranks of the African National Congress prior to the fall of the Soviet Union. He almost totally neglects the significance of that event on the policies both of the South African government and of the ANC itself. The result is to reduce much of the opposition to the ANC outside the ranks of the South African government to a caricature.

An able history of a stunningly successful grassroots movement that succeeded, as such movements must, by reducing the complexities of what they are fighting.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385261678
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/29/1997
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 928
  • Product dimensions: 6.68 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 1.91 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Mottled Mirror
Pt. 1 The Cruel Illusion
1 Rival Dreams of Nationhood 3
2 Crisis and Recovery (1958-1962) 55
Pt. 2 The Internationalization of Civil Rights
3 John F. Kennedy and the Politics of Racial Equality (1960-1963) 97
4 The Varieties of Dissent (1964-1966) 157
5 Students and Strategists (1966-1970) 212
Pt. 3 The Challenge to Legitimacy
6 Confrontations with General Motors (1971) 263
7 The Awakening of the Institutional Investor (1971-1973) 307
8 The Enigma of Buthelezi (1972-1975) 333
9 The Opening of New Fronts (1974-1976) 373
10 Points of Pressure (1976-1977) 404
Pt. 4 Accommodation and Rebellion
11 Definition from Below (1978-1980) 427
12 The Limits of Engagement and Reform (1980-1983) 473
13 The Spread of the Divestment Movement (1982-1984) 523
14 The Explosion (1985-1986) 558
15 The Effect of Sanctions 620
Epilogue: Legacy and Future 672
Appendices 697
Notes 712
Bibliography 851
Acknowledgments 881
Index 885
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