"[T]his book is much more substantial than any previous treatment of Robben Island as a place of incarceration of political prisoners. It is also unique in its simultaneous treatment of the prison as a place of punishment, of intended demoralization and isolation from the world, and also of the counter efforts of the prisoners. [T]he book remains a landmark contribution and deserves very serious study by all interested not only in Robben Island and penology, but the evolution of the struggle against apartheid in general." Raymond Suttner, University of South Africa, Pretoria, H-Net
"The acid test of the quality of any book is that it stumulates the reader to think hard about the arguments made and to ask additional questions about the issues raised. There is no doubt that Buntman succeeds mightily in this score. This is a superb book, both substantively and methodologically, and it deserves a readership far beyond those with a substantitive interest in South Africa." The Law and Politics Book Review
"...Buntman has written an important book. She has opened Robben Island, illustrated how the prisoners there were able to survive as long as they did, and shown how, despite their incarceration, they played an important role in the creation of the new South Africa." International Third World Studies Journal and Review, David T. Jervis
"Robben Island and Prisoner Resistance to Apartheid is an important book not only for its theoretical and substantive insights, but also because it preserves and contextualizes the stories of so many Robben Island "graduates" and those who were involved in the prison system on the other side of the bars." African Studies Review
"...fascinating and highly original..." Foreign Affairs
Lying 18 miles off of Cape Town, Robben Island Prison was South Africa's gulag from the early 1960s until the fall of apartheid. Buntman's fascinating and highly original study investigates Robben Island's multidimensional politics over three decades, focusing mainly on the prisoner community but also examining how government attitudes and policies toward political prisoners evolved. Although rifts based on age, ethnicity, ideology, and organizational affiliation caused periodic tensions among prisoners, Buntman shows how a common spirit of resistance helped them develop habits of mutual tolerance and construct autonomous social and political structures outside the authority of their warders. Assimilation of new inmates and the release of old ones helped to spread organizational tactics and knowledge back into the wider political struggle; experience acquired through interactions with prison authorities prepared a cadre of leaders with the patience and bargaining skills necessary to negotiate an eventual settlement with the regime. Two final chapters locate South African prisoner politics within the wider fields of resistance theory and prison politics under other repressive regimes.