Review by Choice Review
Each member of this husband and wife team has individually contributed substantial studies of contemporary political processes within South Africa. Adam authored the seminal Modernizing Racial Domination (1971), a work especially germane for an analysis of government policy today, and, with Hermann Giliomee, Ethnic Power Mobilized (CH, Mar '80), which examined contemporary political processes. Moodley, a South African of Indian Descent, has dealt extensively with the political behavior of Indian South Africans. In this new book, Adam and Moodley interpret the power configurations in South Africa and the current prognosis for change. Taking issue with many contemporary forecasts, they offer a thesis that maintains that neither the continuation of the status quo nor revolutionary transformation is likely. Based upon an extensive critique of current conditions, the work constitutes a significant, fresh interpretation that demands wide reading by Western policymakers as well as scholars and general readers. The study reports on the systemic changes that have occurred within South Africa in the last decade. Although the book seeks to extract major implications from such changes, it is in the assessment of contradictions within both planned and informal processes that critics may dispute the authors' conclusion on the future characteristics of South African society. Yet, in their identification of the processes themselves, Adam and Moodley provide a highly pertinent basis on which to project the outcomes of current interactions among key South African actors and institutions.-L.C. Duly, Bemidji State University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
Univ. of California Pr. 1986. 315p. bibliog. ISBN 0-520-05769-4. $18.95. pol sci Writing here with his wife, a South African Indian sociologist, Adam remains at the forefront of controversial but incisive scholarship on South Africa. His Modernizing Racial Domination (1971) contradicted established ``truths,'' but 15 years later seems amazingly astute. This new and very current book, also grounded in a pragmatic, realistic analysis, will not please many internationalists, as its view of what it would take to dismantle the system of racial domination shoots down more simplistic notions. The authors are more optimistic about accommodation than most, but only if the various actors are realistic in their goals and methods. Not suited to newcomers to this subject, this analysis should provoke thought and debate among scholars. Highly recommended for academic libraries. John Grotpeter, Political Science Dept., St. Louis Coll. of Pharmacy (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
A barely readable argument that South Africa can (and should) change only through peaceful, gradual reform. Adam, a German sociologist, and Moodley, a South African of Indian descent, also a sociologist, are a married couple who live on the West Coast and were trained in Frankfurt School methodology. Buried beneath their innumerable categories, models and formulas, it slowly becomes apparent that they think black unions and white capitalists have a common interest in maintaining a proper business climate. They assert, too, that whites, blacks and others in South Africa share Christianity and all, even those at the bottom of society, want to continue enjoying the material benefits to which they have grown accustomed. In effect, the authors have transferred the trickle-down theory of Reaganomics to South Africa and expanded it to include political rights. Be patient, they counsel most natives: English and Afrikaner business-people will soon learn that it is in their interest to grant some democratic rights. (They do encourage unions to fight for limited trade-union goals.) But the arguments seem incredible, considering the reality of South Africa. Belief in Christianity hasn't heretofore dissuaded South African whites from treating the majority like animals. Similarly, desire for profit does not necessarily cause people to be color-blind. The authors' argument seems to rest on an inordinate fear of public disorder and potential violence. For example, they dismiss those who don't collaborate with Pretoria (while distorting the opposition's program) by writing, ""To postpone small-scale reform in the hope that present misery will accelerate a more fundamental transformation to us smacks not only of cynicism but of immorality."" But why should those who live in such dismal circumstances (and who are regularly brutalized) accept small-scale reform, particularly the shams of ""coloured parliaments"" that don't represent blacks? The book is also flawed by its turgid, academic prose. (""The critical moralists are concerned to separate Afrikaner cultural achievement from its oppressive political implementation."") All in all, a tedious exercise of little import. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.