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The Apartheid Crisis: How We Can Do Justice in a Land of Violence

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Catholic priest and business-ethics consultant Williams considers the proper Christian response to the call for American corporations to divest in South Africa. He is especially effective in contrasting the lives of the black bourgeoisie and underclass, delineating the sources of apartheid and tracing the Afrikaners' theology of separateness to the doctrines of the Dutch Reformed Church. Williams urges reason and pragmatism, which translates into an ethics of stewardship under which American corporate clout would promote black welfare by its very presenceas is exemplified by the policies of Johnson and Johnson and Coca-Cola, which groom blacks for management positions. Williams is optimistic that such leverage could change South Africa's political contours.(September)
Library Journal
Divestment of holdings in South Africa is a difficult ethical question, perhaps exacerbated by media coverage. Williams, professor of business at Notre Dame and consultant on business ethics, argues for maintaining investments and a presence in South Africa, working actively to better the conditions of the blacks through programs such as adopt-a-school, job training, and improved housing. As background he presents descriptions of the lives of two executives, one black and one white, a history of apartheid and of Anglo-Boer relations, and a summary of positions taken by major interest groups. This material is helpful in understanding the problem, but the arguments for the conclusions are weak. Subject collections should consider for timeliness. Marcia L. Sprules, Univ. of South Dakota, Vermillion
School Library Journal
YA Not an impassioned cry, nor a straight factual reference, this work attempts to clarify the multi-layered and convoluted situation in South Africa. The author, a Catholic priest, begins his exploration with two hypothetical portraits, one of a South African black working for an American company, the other of a white of British descent. These portraits are purposefully moderate, with Williams choosing not to portray a homelands dweller or an Afrikaner. Next, the book presents a history of the problem and an overview of various interest groups and their tried and hoped-for solutions to the growing conflict. To the question of what the U.S. should do, Williams presents three scenarios: disinvestment; disinvestment with strong economic and trade sanctions; and remaining in South Africa but, through the example of the Sullivan Principles, leading the way to reform. Williams endorses this last approach, basing his belief on the Christian ethic that calls for stewardship of a real world that falls short of the ideal. Carolyn Praytor Boyd, Episcopal High School, Bellaire, Tex.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062509512
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/1/1986
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 124

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