The Making of a Racist State: British Imperialism and the Union of South Africa, 1875-1910
Africa World Press, 1996 - 450 pages
"How did the Union of South Africa come to be dominated for almost a hundred years by a white minority?" That is the obvious but haunting question squarely faced in this remarkable historical survey by Dr. Bernard M Magubane. lie documents and analyzes the chain of events that led up to the passage, in 1909, of the "South African Act" by the British Parliament -- the centuries-long British subjugation of Ireland; the impoverishment and emigration of millions of British citizens; the discovery of fabulous mineral deposits at Kimberly and Witwatersrand; and the Anglo-Boer War with its strange resolution. Behind those fateful events, however, were equally powerful ideas -- ideas such as class and race; British imperialism and the notion of a "Greater Britain"; and colonialism itself, with its dehumanizing mythology of the "Other". And the advocates of those ideas were among the most colorful and influential personalities in modern English letters and politics. "The end of white minority rule and the beginning of the process of black emancipation, "writes the author",are momentous events.Yet South Africanscholarship has hardly prepared the peopleof South Africa to understand the meaning of this change".
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