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REVIEWS 323 The 'Opeca' Commonwealth. a•. :MARGARET BALL. Duke UniversityCommonwealthSeriesno 39. Durham, Nc, Duke UniversityPress,•97•. PP-xiv, 286. $8.75. If Commonwealthstudieshad a counterpartto the Halle Selassie Prize it mightbeoffered oneyearfor themostoriginalideaabouttheCommonwealth. Alas, Miss Ball would not win, but neither would Max Beloff and a host of othereminentnameswho havetried their hand. The prizewouldremainunawarded .The Commonwealth seems like a substantial phantom,incapableof eitherdefinitionor analysis with meaning.Philosophically it doesnot exist. Miss Bali'sbookavoidssuchproblems. Her premiseis that presentCommonwealthrelationships are basically the sameas thosefoundin traditional internationalorganisations 'and are no longerof a constitutional or quasiconstitutional nature,'a statement whichwill scarcely jolt the Canadianreader with a shock of sudden revelation. What followsisbasically a series of descriptions ,basedlargelyon published documents of the governments of Commonwealthcountries and of the Commonwealth Secretariat, of how the Commonwealth operates.In practicewhat this entailsis a discussion of how the governments of the Commonweakh consult together, what machinery theyuse for consultation, andwhatresults theyachieve thereby. JOHN FLINT DalhousieUniversity The Ox[ordHistoryo[ SouthA[rica.n: SouthA[rica,•87o-•966.Editedby a•ONICA WILSON and LV. ONAm) THOa•PSON. Oxford, The ClarendonPress [Toronto , OxfordUniversity Press], 197'.PP.xvi,584,maps. $17.oo. Three interconnected developments in the recenthistoryof SouthAfrica give unityto thissecond .volume of the Oxfordhistory:oneis the socio-economic changes generated by urbanization and industrialization; a second, the relationshipwith the Empire-Commonwealth; and finally,the parallelgrowthof Afrikaner and African nationalisms. Among the contributorsa number of disciplines arerepresented (indeed, thehistorians areoddlyin a minority),and thesethemes are tackledin turn from the differentperspectives of the several authors.There are advantages to this approach-South African historyis obviously suited tomultidisciplinary analysis - but therearealsodisadvantages: a certaintendency towardrepetitiveness andin places a lackof coherence. D.H. Houghtonleadsoff the volumewith a surveyof major economic changes since1860.His chaptercorrelates thegrowing, thoughstillinadequate bodyof secondary literatureon thissubject but falls (in the opinionof this reviewer)to gomuchbeyond it. Of the threechapters whichfollow,that by FrancisWilsonon farmingclearlystands out. It is an excellent contribution, sensitive in itsgeneralizations andimpressive in itshandling of anelusive body of material.One criticismwouldbe that it tends,particularlyfor the period ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
p. 323
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
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