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This book was published in 2007 more than half a century after one-volume history of this subject by Saron & Hotz. The 1955 edition of that book appeared when the Nationalists were in power, had abandoned their antisemitism of the 1930s and 1940s and instead saw the Jews as fellow-whites and partners in the apartheid regime. So it is no wonder that that book hardly mentioned the Nationalists’ previous antisemitism and made no reference to apartheid or to the support and opposition to that policy among the Jews. At last, 13 years after apartheid has come to an end, we have this new one-volume history of the Jews of South Africa which tells the whole story - in so far as this can be done in a mere 216 pages, almost ever one of which has much of its space taken up by photographs. Many of these pages also interrupt the main narrative with “boxes” dealing in more detail with people or episodes which the authors find particularly interesting. There is a good deal emphasis on the achievements of individual Jews, but the main political and social trends are competently brought out. So this is a useful book. A truly comprehensive book, comparable to, say, Howard Sacher’s history of the Jews of the United States (over 900 pages, without pictures), still remains to be written.
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This book was published in 2007 more than half a century after one-volume history of this subject by Saron & Hotz. The 1955 edition of that book appeared when the Nationalists were in power, had abandoned their antisemitism of the 1930s and 1940s and instead saw the Jews as fellow-whites and partners in the apartheid regime. So it is no wonder that that book hardly mentioned the Nationalists’ previous antisemitism and made no reference to apartheid or to the support and opposition to that policy among the Jews. At last, 13 years after apartheid has come to an end, we have this new one-volume history of the Jews of South Africa which tells the whole story - in so far as this can be done in a mere 216 pages, almost ever one of which has much of its space taken up by photographs. Many of these pages also interrupt the main narrative with “boxes” dealing in more detail with people or episodes which the authors find particularly interesting. There is a good deal emphasis on the achievements of individual Jews, but the main political and social trends are competently brought out. So this is a useful book. A truly comprehensive book, comparable to, say, Howard Sacher’s history of the Jews of the United States (over 900 pages, without pictures), still remains to be written.

The price of the hardback is astonishing - note that a paperback edition has been available since November for £23.50
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on 30 March 2013
Bought as part of barmitzvah gift for a south african boy living in the u.k. Was well received by him
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