On Building a Social Movement

The North American Campaign for South African Liberation

By John Saul  

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“In his characteristically engaging conversational style, combining intimate first-hand knowledge and lightly-worn scholarship with strong opinions, John Saul takes the reader vividly into the heart of the Canadian and American movements that supported the anti-apartheid and liberation struggles in southern Africa.” — Colin Leys, co-editor, The Socialist Register

“Solidarity is the soul of the workers’ movement. This is a book about one of history’s greatest international solidarity movements: the anti-apartheid movement and that in support of the southern African liberation struggles more generally. It provides an inspiring and incisive account that raises sharply the question of what could have been had our revolution not lost its way by succumbing to neo-liberalism’s false hopes and dead-end solutions.” — Trevor Ngwane, veteran South African activist and writer

“John Saul offers far more than a comprehensive analysis of the historical development of Southern African solidarity movements in North America. He issues a call for an emancipatory politics and practice that locates battles for liberation in a larger context and in relationship to each other. He also challenges us to demystify the national liberation movements many of us worshiped in order to see not only their strengths and weaknesses, but in order to understand the forces that have ground many of them to a halt. What an outstanding piece of writing!” — Bill Fletcher, Jr., former President of TransAfrica Forum; host of The Global African on Telesur-English.

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  • On Progressive Social Movements
  • On The Ambiguities Of Liberation
  • Regional Struggle: Challenging White Minority Rule In Southern Africa
  • Beyond Southern Africa: The Global Liberation Support/Anti-Apartheid Movement
  • The Canadian Case
  • The US Front
  • Snatched From The Jaws Of Victory
  • Challenging “Global Apartheid”
  • The Palestinian Parallel
  • Conclusion
  • Afternotes
  • Index


  • John Saul

    John S. Saul was educated at the Universities of Toronto, Princeton and London and, on the ground, in Africa and has taught for many years both at York University (until his retirement) in Canada and in Africa: in Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa. He also worked throughout these years as a liberation support and anti-apartheid activist, notably with the Toronto Committee for the Liberation of Southern Africa (TCLSAC) and with Southern Africa Report magazine. He had published over seventeen books including: Millennial Africa: Capitalism, Socialism, Democracy, The Next Liberation Struggle: Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy in Southern Africa, Development after Decolonization: Theory and Practice for the Embattled South in a New Imperial Age, Recolonization and Resistance: Southern Africa in the 1990s, and O Marxismo-Leninismo no Contexto Moçambicano. He remains committed to an anti-capitalist/anti-imperialist politics.

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