ON BEHALF OF The African branch of Cambridge University Press I would like to invite you to the book launch of Popular Politics in the History of South Africa, 1400-1948 taking place on the 28th October 2010, 17h30 for 18h00 at The Book Lounge in Cape Town. Visit
http://www.booklounge.co.za/find-us.asp for directions.
Copies of the book will be on sale at the launch and light refreshments will be served.
Please let me know if you will be attending.
About the Book
to read an excerpt (please note the hardcopy edition is only on sale outside Sub-Saharan Africa and is not the CAC version being launched)
Popular Politics in the History of South Africa, 1400-1948 offers a newly inclusive vision of South Africa's past. Drawing largely from original sources, Paul Landau presents a history of the politics of the country's people, from the time of their early settlements in the elevated heartlands, through the colonial era, to the dawn of Apartheid. A
practical tradition of mobilization, alliance, and amalgamation persisted, mutated, and occasionally vanished from view; it survived against the odds in several forms, in tribalisms, Christian assemblies, and other, seemingly hybrid movements; and it continues today. Landau treats southern Africa broadly, concentrating increasingly on the southern highveld and ultimately focusing on a transnational movement called the Samuelites. He shows how people's politics in South Africa were suppressed and transformed, but never entirely eliminated.
Praise for Popular Politics
Paul Landau's masterful work opens up fresh lines of research by ambitiously narrating the history of South Africa's southern highveld, beginning with its peopling and earliest settlements and carrying the story through to African social movements in the early twentieth century.
He challenges scholars to rethink how they write the history of southern Africa.
- Robert R. Edgar, Howard University
Popular Politics in the History of South Africa, 1400-1948 is original and thought-provoking. Landau makes the important argument that the idea of entrenched ethnic identities was a product of the period of European
colonialism and that a very different set of political assumptions had long animated regional politics. Landau similarly rethinks the meaning and uses of Christianity in exciting and innovative ways. Telling gripping and often moving tales, he demonstrates remarkable erudition, drawing on original sources in several languages and ranging widely in his research. This is a terrific book.
- Elizabeth Elbourne, McGill University
Paul Landau uses his linguistic genius to probe the meaning of ethnicity and tribal affiliations in South Africa. His investigation revolutionizes our understanding of the past for all of Africa south of the Zambezi. Textbooks will need rewriting, starting now.
- Norman Etherington, University of Western Australia
This is a greatly ambitious and remarkably successful book. Landau has confronted most of the challenges now facing southern African historians and proposed resolutions to them. We now see that tribe and ethnicity are constructs dating from no earlier than the nineteenth century. For the
first time Landau asks what forms of consciousness and organization preceded them. Landau takes his stand in the highveld, reaching out both north and south. His book will have to be taken account of by every southern Africanist.
- Terence Ranger, Oxford University
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