- Paperback: 371 pages
- Publisher: Michigan State University Press (October 18, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0870138103
- ISBN-13: 978-0870138102
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,892,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Guardian: The History of South Africa's Extraordinary Anti-Apartheid Newspaper
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About the Author
James Zug is a historian and journalist with an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University. He is the author of Squash: A History of the Gameand American Traveler: The Life and Adventures of John Ledyard, the Man Who Dreamed of Walking the World. As a journalist, he has written for the Atlantic Monthly and Tin House. His book reviews have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Outside magazine and the Chicago Tribune.
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In its early years, the Guardian's opposition to fascism and racism automatically aligned it with Communism. The first time it was banned outright was when the South African government passed the Suppression of Communist Act (SCA) in the early 1950s; which among other things, would make much of the regular content of the Guardian illegal, subjecting its writers to arrest and jail terms. Officially disassociating itself from the Communist Party, the Guardian still faced a crisis of survival in that it lost its core readership and major sources of funding. Nonetheless, as a staff writer Abbie Sachs remarked, "The [SCA] actually did us a big favor because it meant we couldn't use the jargon and ever-ready phrases [of communist ideology]...We were compelled to use more substantive ways of thinking and writing...." In this transformation, the Guardian not only sharpened its reporting on events in South Africa, but developed contacts with indigenous anti-apartheid forces, some of which were growing increasingly militant in the face of the apartheid government's intransigence and policies of imprisonment and torture. Along with these groups working politically and in some cases militarily, the Guardian became a catalyst for change in South Africa.
The story of the survival and role of the Guardian is written in conjunction with political events in South Africa leading to the overthrow of apartheid. Zug also writes about the work and influence of major and some secondary individuals connected with the paper. With a background as a historian as well as a journalist, author Zug writes an enduring history of this notable newspaper.