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White Supremacy: A Comparative Study of American and South African History 1st Edition

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195030426
ISBN-10: 0195030427
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"The history of race relations on two continents is enormously enriched by this comparative study."--C. Vann Woodward, Yale University


"A stunning work, Fredrickson's book is the most important study--by far--of race relations written in our time."--Herbert Gutman


"One of the most brilliant and successful studies in comparative history ever written...sheds new light on the entire sweep of American and South African history."--David Brion Davis, The New York Times Book Review


"Thorough and interesting. Valuable background for my students."--Darcy James, Lewis Clark State College


"Sophisticated, well-focused, and accessible. . . . provides exactly the context I need for a course in Apartheid."--Judiana Lawrence, St. John Fisher College


About the Author

George M. Fredrickson is at Edgar A. Robinson Professor of United States History.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (February 4, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195030427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195030426
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 5.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #428,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Moten Swing on May 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To label this work "comparative history," as does the author, is to understate the matter considerably. The book is a careful, scholarly comparative analysis of all the important questions (most of which you've never thought of!) related to the origins, nature, and development of white supremacy in the US and SA. Remarkably, it is superbly well written--clear as glass, with no jargon, aiming only to express, never to impress. As a side note, I can't get over this one little fact: the book was written before database software. What does that mean? HE USED PAPER NOTES--they must have filed multiple file cabinets. Yet, his the organization of the sources, his commentary on them, their relevance and conciseness are all stunning. The author mastered two immense literatures, one in Afrikaans, and evaluates them judiciously and carefully, never scoring cheap points or parading his own work--he strictly presents (and often modifies) the best social-scientific hypotheses of the last 100-or-so years. I just can't get over how impressive this book is. Consider reading with Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 24, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is a seminal study which compares the development of white supremacy in Southern Africa and North America. It is well researched and provides the reader with an insightful analysis into race relations in these two regions. Although the book was published in 1982, the analysis continues to be current and essential to those readers who wish to understand the historic context of this important subject.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By not me VINE VOICE on June 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
"White Supremacy" is a classic essay on race relations in South Africa and the U.S., from colonial times to the mid-20th century. In theory, the book is a "comparative history" (whatever that means). In reality, it reads more like two parallel histories, with much jumping back and forth, and some of the comparisons of South African and American experiences are strained (such as the treatment of industrialization). Nevertheless, just about every page is packed with ideas that illuminate fundamental issues in U.S. and South African history. It's great.

I took off one star for two reasons: First, the analysis is drawn from secondary sources and presented at a high level of abstraction, like sociology rather than history. History fans looking for human color or telling details will be disappointed. Second, the author devotes as much attention to South Africa's relatively small mixed-race "Coloured" community as he does to the much larger black African population. He may have done so because of the difficulty in making meaningful comparisons between the experiences of traditional rural Africans and those of American blacks who were closely linked to whites from the first days of slavery. In contrast, 20th century Coloureds in Western Cape had much in common with American blacks struggling against Jim Crow and disenfranchisement. But while comparisons between blacks and Coloureds are meaningful, they leave out a big chunk of South African history.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book shows the global similarities of the establishment, maintenance, practice, and refinement of White oppression in two of the world's best examples, South Africa and The United States of America
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White Supremacy: A Comparative Study of American and South African History
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