In The Politics of Evil, Clifton Crais provides a unique interpretation of South African history and a fresh approach to the study of power, culture and resistance in the modern world. Encompassing all of South Africa's history in his analysis, Crais examines the formation of an authoritarian political order and the complex ways people understood and resisted the colonial state. He explores state formation as a cultural and political process as well as a moral problem and he looks at indigenous concepts of power, authority and evil, analysing how they shaped cross-cultural encounters and the making of a colonial order. Apartheid represented one of the great evils of the twentieth century. This book reveals how the victims of apartheid understood the triumph of this evil in their lives as they elaborated rich and at times violent visions of a just world. Professor Crais concludes by looking at political transition, the challenges to creating a durable democracy and the persistence of evil in South Africa.
Introduction; Part I. Cultures of Conquest: 1. The death of hope; 2. Ethnographies of state; 3. Rationalities and rule; Part II. States of Emergency: 4. Prophecies of nation; 5. Government acts; 6. Conflict in Qumbu; 7. The men of the mountain; 8. Flights of the lightning bird; Conclusion; Notes; Bibliography; Index.
Ohio Academy of History Book Prize 2004 - Winner