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Book Launch: Twentieth-Century South Africa: A Developmental History

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Twentieth-Century South Africa

Speaker: Prof Bill Freund

Date: Wednesday, 6th March 2019

Time: 4:15pm

Venue: Eden Grove Seminar Room 2 

The series is run by the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU) and the Departments of Sociology and Industrial Sociology, History, and Economics & Economic History 

THE AUTHOR:  Prof Bill Freund has taught at universities in Nigeria and Tanzania as well as in South Africa. He is Emeritus Professor of Economic History at the University of Kwazulu-Natal where he was Head of the Department of Economic History and Development Studies until 2004. His books include The Making of Contemporary Africa, The African Worker and The African City: A History. He has written many articles and book chapters on political economy and development issues in South Africa.

THE BOOK: The twentieth century has brought considerable political, social, and economic change for South Africa. While many would choose to focus only on the issues of race, segregation and apartheid, this book tries to capture another facet: its drive towards modernisation and industrialisation. While considering the achievements and failures of that drive, as well as how it related to ethnic and racial policy making, Bill Freund makes the economic data come alive by highlighting people and places. He proposes that South Africa in the twentieth century can actually be understood as a nascent developmental state, with economic development acting as a key motivating factor. As a unique history of South Africa in the twentieth century, this will appeal to anyone interested in a new interpretation of modern South African economic development or those in development studies searching for striking historical examples.