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Part One

South African socialists and the racially-divided working class

Part Two

Communists and the national struggle: The Native Republic Thesis

Part Three

The Comintern and the New Line

This compilation of contemporary writings traces the origins and development of socialism in South Africa until 1950, shortly before the passing of the Suppression of the Communism Act, which made overt socialist organisation illegal. It covers the dilemmas, which socialist faced in confronting a racially-divided working class, their gradual recognition of the national question, and their effort to build political alliances. It also considers the impact of international socialist politics and of World War II, on the South African socialist movement. The introduction, written by Allison Drew, is an analysis of the documents and is vital part of the book. Much of the documented material has never been published before and has been collected from libraries, archives and private individuals in South Africa, Britain and the United States.

Part Four

The origins and development of Trotskyism in South Africa

Part Five

Building political alliances: Workers' unity and black united fronts

Part Six

World war and the suppression of socialism