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Publication Date: July 2020
In the end it was a mere seven votes in the all-white House of Assembly that took South Africa into World War II. It was to change the course of the country’s history, as Richard Steyn demonstrates in his brilliant new book. The decision upended domestic politics, ruining attempts to repair the long-standing breach at the heart of white politics, while also causing ruptures within Afrikanerdom. It galvanised the black African, coloured and Indian communities, that had been given no say in the war debate. Manufacturing grew exponentially to meet wartime demands, drawing ever more people of colour into the economy, and into the cities and towns. By 1946, there were more blacks than whites in urban South Africa. And in 1948, a mere three years after the war ended, the National Party rose to power and started down the road to implementing apartheid. Richard Steyn is a retired journalist and editor. This is his fourth book.
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