Review from ROAPE Volume 14 Number 40
Political Economy of Modern SA (Stadler)
Use of the definite article in his ambitious title perhaps betrays the author's confidence that he has written an exceptionally good book. If so, his confidence is thoroughly justified, and Alf Stadler's The Political Economy of Modern South Africa should deservedly achieve the status of a standard text for outsiders looking into South Africa and a standard source for specialists. Writing clearly and economically (in 184 pages of text), free of the jargon that too often mars radical scholarship, Stadler condenses an enormous amount of secondary material to provide a major new overview of South Africa's historical development, along with an insightful commentary upon the present phase of struggle and counter revolution. Equally, if not more important, is the straightforward, undramatic manner in which he demonstrates unambiguously how the battery of repression upon which the apartheid political economy is based rests on an historical basis and backlog of denial of political rights to blacks. Ergo, without unfettered realisation of democratic political rights, the economic emancipation of blacks cannot begin.