Reviews for Fall of Apartheid in South Africa

School Library Journal Reviews 2010 September

Gr 5-7--In illustrating the political system that dominated South Africa for more than 40 years, Koosmann focuses on rural poverty and the system of internal passes controlling movement, education, and the reasons for white support of the policy. Her examination of the resistance movement begins with a description of the nonviolent "Defiance Campaign against Unjust Laws" of 1952 and ends with a brief account of post-apartheid South Africa. The author provides a human perspective by focusing on the experiences of a few individuals. Though the information is mostly accurate, there are some omissions and inaccuracies. First, the period of the 1980s is dealt with in a vague way, and the United Democratic Front, an organization central to the success of the anti-apartheid struggle, is not even mentioned. In addition, even though the Rivonia trial (at which Mandela was sentenced) is discussed in some detail, Koosmann does not mention the racial diversity of the accused group. Repeated design elements, intended to create consistency, result in unnecessarily small photographs and confusing page layouts. There is careful footnoting but the "Timeline in History," which attempts to place events in a global context, does not include enough detail to be helpful.--Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City

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