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 "South Africa",
A review by Carroll Quigley in Stimulus, Vol. --, No. -- (xxxx 1965),
of a book:
by John Cope.
New York: Frederick A. Praege, 1965


"South Africa"


By John Cope.
New York: Frederick A. Praeger, pp. xvii, 2.36; 1965. $7.50



   This brief and perceptive survey of the Republic of South Africa is an admirable introduction to the area for anyone who knows little about it. There is nothing here for experts on the subject, but the book is solidly done and shows its author's long, first-hand acquaintanceship with the area. The material is presented topically, with emphasis on the historical background of each topic as it is taken up. There is a neat meshing of the deterministic elements (chiefly geographic factors and the racial background) with the more fortuitous elements, such as personalities or the impact of such external events as two World Wars and two economic slumps.

   Mr. Cope is particularly good on the almost accidental way in which the extremist policy won out in the years from the resignation of Malan in 1954 to the triumph of Verwoerd in 1961. Looking back over South Africa's history from the early days of Paul Kruger to the present, the victory of Afrikanderdom seems almost unavoidable, yet Cope's narrative of the crucial years shows repeatedly the narrow margin by which developments missed flowing in quite different channels. His account, despite its brevity, has the liveliness of personal experience, for he watched events from close range, as a member of the Cape Parliament, South African correspondent to the Manchester Guardian, and editor of The Forum.

   The volume is divided into four parts, of which the first is concerned with the land, its resources, the people, and the basic problem of apartheid. Part II is largely historical, presenting the southern movement of the Bantu and its collision with the northward movement of the Whites. In this section is a valuable description of the establishment and rise in influence of the Broederbond, showing once again (as in Germany or in our own Southern states) how a majority of well-intentioned and law-abiding persons can be out-maneuvered and eventually dominated by secret associations of ruthless extremists. Part III is a political analysis of four political groupings: the republicans, the black nationalists, the communists, and the ineffectual liberals. Part IV places South Africa in its wider context of Africa, the world, and the future. On the last point, Cope is not equivocal; he says, "The story of South Africa can have only one ending. The apartheid order will be destroyed and the non-white people will gain their political and economic freedom." His book provides an indispensible minimum of information for any reader who wishes to grasp the tragedy of that conclusion.

Professor of History
Georgetown University



Scan of original review



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