Synopses & Reviews
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.