Rather than answering the question posed in its title, Johnson's sprawling, gossipy, entertaining, sometimes brilliant but not always accurate book explores South Africa's role in international politics over the past several decades and particularly the international economics of white supremacy. The author has a keen nose for intrigue (such as an alleged U.S. squeeze on the price of gold and subsequent stimulus of the gold market to reward Pretoria for delivering Ian Smith) and an imaginative view of far-flung connections - for instance, between Britain's entry into the EEC and Portugal's loss of its African empire. John de St. Jorre's beautifully written account covers South Africa's international position more briefly, but provides carefully researched and richly detailed companion portraits of black and white nationalism in South Africa, and of their respective power structures. This study ought to attract a wide general audience, but its sophisticated reportage and analysis should also be useful to specialists.
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