Archive | January, 2013

Books On African History

14 Jan

I asked the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front of South Africa for book recommendations. Here is their response:

 Hi,

Some books we might recommend are:

• Frederick Cooper, “Africa Since 1940” for a general history of Africa.
• “Cambridge History of South Africa” (includes some good authors such as
Legassick and Bonner) for a good overview of SA history.
•”Illustrated History of South Africa” (Reader’s Digest) – has some
liberal interpretations, but good for beginners and has Zulus.
• “Black Man’s Burden – Africa and the Curse of the Nation State” by Basil
Davidson.

Hope that helps.

Red & Black regards,

Jonathan

International Secretary, ZACF

Book Review: Richard K. Matthews’ The Radical Politics Of Thomas Jefferson

2 Jan

Jim Bissett’s Agrarian Socialism in America got me interested in Thomas Jefferson. I wondered if the attempted fusion of such diverse figures as Marx, Jesus, and Jefferson was grounded in a proper interpretation of their principles, or did it result from distortion? It is clear that there were areas of mutual sensitivity among the three men, but were their ideas compatible?

In reading Richard K. Matthews’ The Radical Politics of Thomas Jefferson, I did not expect to find a fully developed, modern critique of political economy, and didn’t, but what I did find was striking all the same. Jefferson ruminated upon, and offered solutions to, problems which continue to vex the Left today. His stratagems may be geared to another age, but his prescriptions on how to put power into the hands of everyday people, and how to fight reaction, have unmistakable relevance to contemporary Leftist discourse. They foreshadow many of the disputes which would capsize the First International, and rile the workers’ movement for centuries to come.

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