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The Guardian: The History of South Africa's Extraordinary Anti-Apartheid Newspaper Paperback – October 18, 2007

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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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Product Details

  • 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: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,481,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Henry Berry on January 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
Between its founding in 1937 and its demise in 1963 upon being outlawed by South Africa's apartheid government, the South African newspaper "The Guardian" went by seven different names; others among these were the Clarion (early 1950s), People's World (also early 1950s), and New Age (1954-62). Though its name changed, its definition of its role remained the same. Opposed to all dictatorial, totalitarian governments, the newspaper opposed fascism in Africa, in neighboring Namibia in particular, as well as the entrenched apartheid government in South Africa. After World War II ended and decolonization was happening in places around the world, the Guardian focused its coverage and editorials on South Africa's system of apartheid. In so doing, it incurred the wrath of successive apartheid governments so that it was continually harassed by government agents and on occasion banned by the government.

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....
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