Selling Apartheid

South Africa’s Global Propaganda War

Ron Nixon

Selling Apartheid

Ron Nixon

Distributed for Pluto Press

256 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2016
Paper $24.00 ISBN: 9780745399140 Published October 2016 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
In Selling Apartheid, journalist Ron Nixon brings to light a mostly forgotten aspect of the long battle over apartheid: the global propaganda campaign waged by the South African government in an attempt to bolster support for the regime. Drawing on interviews with key players and thousands of previously unavailable documents from US, British, and South African archives, Nixon offers a detailed picture of a $100 million annual campaign that drew on an elaborate network of support from corporations, conservative religious organizations, and even an unlikely Cold War coalition of liberal black clergy and anticommunist black conservatives aligned with right-wing politicians. The result is a fascinating look at how the image of apartheid was managed, and the regime supported, despite fifty years of struggle and protest.
 
Contents


Introduction
1. Apartheid is Good for Blacks
2. In Defence of Apartheid
3. Taking the Offensive
4. Operation Blackwash
5. Muldergate
6. Constructive Engagement
7. Free South Africa
8. Stopping the Anti-Apartheid Movement
9. Sanctions Only Hurt Blacks
10. The Fixer
11. Operation Heartbreak
12. The Anti-Sanctions Videos
13. Apartheid's Man in Angola
14. Apartheid's Last Gasp
15. The End of Apartheid
Notes on Sources
Acknowledgements
Review Quotes
Choice
"In Selling Apartheid, Nixon examines the South African government’s coordinated attempts to convince the international community that the apartheid system did not harm the interests of the nonwhite sectors of the South African population. Initial chapters explore evolving government policy actions and coordinated efforts of private South African business groups to shape international public opinion. Later chapters focus upon detailed vignettes regarding specific South African government efforts to shape and reshape international public opinion. Of particular interest is Nixon’s examination of South Africa’s attempts to fund US black conservatives as spokespersons for its contention that anti-apartheid actions supported international communism. Recommended."
Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Meticulously unpacks the complex web of relationships and covert money flows that promoted South Africa’s repressive policies. At a time of widening alarm over the onslaught of 'fake news', Nixon provides a disturbing exploration of the extreme lengths to which institutions can go to spread misinformation....Nixon writes with the authority of one who has gone to extraordinary lengths — even mining the National Archives in Pretoria and public lobbying records in Europe — to reveal the vast scope of this global propaganda apparatus."
Sri Lanka Guardian
"Nixon’s text is an essential addition to the volume of work on South Africa’s apartheid regime. Rich in detail, Selling Apartheid provides the reader with an extended look at the nature of propaganda in modern society."
Journal of Economic Literature
"Examines the efforts of individuals and institutions to turn American and world opinion about South African apartheid in a positive direction."
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, District of Columbia
"This is an important story that needed to be told about the apartheid government’s global lobbying effort that tried to whitewash its reprehensible policy of racial separation."
Anton Harbor, University of the Witwatersrand
"This is a tale of intrigue, rich characters and large checkbooks, played out in all the Western capitals."
Bill Fletcher Jr., former president of TransAfrica
"A major contribution to the scholarship on the apartheid era and the struggle for liberation in South Africa ... One cannot understand the South African freedom movement without understanding the issues that Nixon so effectively presents to the reader."
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