«Published by the Center for African Studies, University of Florida ISSN: 2152-2448 African Studies Quarterly E Staff Elizabeth Beaver Lin Cassidy ...»
Scully excavates archival material, primarily the criminal records, to capture the views and actions of ex-slaves and reads against the grain of official documentation to tease out the emerging representations of ex-slaves and the consolidation of a patriarchal ideology. She uses "experience as evidence" and attempts to "negotiate the tensions between experience and text through attending to both political economy and representation" (p.12). The book's larger project is to demonstrate that "slave emancipation is as much a story about culture and identity African Studies Quarterly | Volume 5, Issue 1 | Winter 2001 http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v5/v5i1reviews.pdf 58 | BOOK REVIEWS as it is a narrative of the emergence of free wage labour" (p.176). The work is divided into three sections, which detail chronologically the tensions around the constructions of family, race and sexuality. The third segment contains empirical data such as recorded instances of marriage, infanticide and rape, through which Scully attempts to highlight the struggles over the meanings of masculinity and femininity and their relationship with the meaning of freedom.
Scully argues that the "ideas held by different participants [missionaries, slaveholders, colonial officials] about the capacities and roles of men and women crucially shaped the world of freedom into which ex-slave women and men were liberated in 1838" (p.3). She also contends "that the political, juridical and economic context of colonial slavery in the Western Cape as well as the class, racial and gendered assumptions within antislavery thought helped to initiate new forms of control over black women's behaviour and limited their participation in the waged labour force" (p.10) and that ex-slaves continually contested their ascribed roles. In particular, women attempted to exert control over their bodies and also sought new forms of employment.
The book successfully weaves together the role of the different agents in subordinating women's experiences of freedom, but it is not as convincing in its attempts to highlight the "emotional lives" of slaves and their alternative conceptions of freedom and femininity. In addition, the interconnections between race, gender and sexuality could be further explored and theorized and the emerging cultures and identities more fully examined, that is, the racial and class dimensions thereof. Although she cites Ballachet and Stoler, she could have drawn more on their analyses of the mechanisms for policing racial boundaries. The work would also have been enriched through drawing on the theoretical insights of Young, McClintock and Pratt. On completing the reading of the book one is left to wonder about the implications and significance of Scully's insights. There are few connections made with the period prior to emancipation and none to the present context where the racialized Coloured identity has taken on increased political significance. Nor is there an attempt to link present gendered and familial relations and constructions of culture within the Coloured community to their experiences of the past.
Scully's work is impeded by a lack of data, which illuminates the views of slaves and therefore she often has to make assertions without having sufficient corroborating evidence.
This is particularly noticeable in her discussions on marriage, infanticide and rape. For example, she claims that marriage was a signifier of freedom for the ex-slaves and that people "got married both to signify their inclusion in a religious and social community and to enhance their stature in the eyes of the missionaries, so as to receive more benefits, such as access to land" (p.121). However, the evidence she provides hardly substantiates the claim. For example, in her analysis of the Stellenbosch district there were only 400 marriages recorded in 1840 and less than 300 in 1841. The numbers continued to drop in subsequent years and therefore, many freed people did not marry, leading one to question her conclusion that marriage was a significant social practice. Scully's discussion of the Raithby mission is also dubious, as she notes that the number of marriages increased from three in 1845 to six in 1846 and then declined to one in
1847. This hardly indicates a rush to form part of a social community or to gain access to land.
Similarly, an assertion is made that the colonial state focussed on infanticide because it was an act which was at the heart of different cultural understandings of morality and autonomy and that in "killing her child, a woman declared sovereign power over both her body and the
body of her child" (p.147). Here the evidence is based on six cases in the rural areas of the Western Cape. However, excluding a reference to Schapera on the use of infanticide by the Khoi and San as a means of child spacing, we are not provided with any evidence of differing cultural perspectives on the issue nor, through the voices of the women accused of infanticide, do we hear any claims to power or rights over their bodies. Instead, the narratives reveal the desperation and powerlessness of the women for it was the threat of being removed from the mission stations which motivated their actions, rather than cultural differences or the negation of motherhood -- a point she concedes at the end of the chapter Despite the thin evidence, Scully's innovative attempt to voice the perspectives of the exslaves and to construct an alternative narrative is admirable. Indeed, the book paves the way for further research on issues of identity construction at the Cape. For this reason, the volume should be of interest to those studying slavery, the social history of the Cape, gender or critical race theory.
Cheryl Hendricks Toronto, Canada Wringing Success from Failure in Late-Developing Countries: Lessons from the Field. Joseph Stepanek F. Westport: Praeger Publishers, 1999. 265pp. Cloth: $59.95.
With the end of the Cold War and the rapid pace of globalization, the intentions and objectives of foreign assistance by the United States have attracted scholarly attention.
Accordingly, there is an emerging position that the design and strategies for its organization and management in the new century should reflect the circumstances of the new international environment. The United States, as the sole superpower, has had an increasing role in maintaining peace worldwide through assistance in the development and growth of free markets and democracy. These activities serve the dual purpose of enabling the United States to assist the poor and disadvantaged, while yielding benefits to US commercial interests by way of opening up new markets for exports and jobs at home. 1 Wringing Success from Failure in Late-Developing Countries: Lessons from the Field, provides an analysis of the personal experiences of the author during a twenty-five year career with the United States Agency for International Development (AID) in Asia and Africa.
Joseph Stepanek, in a persuasive manner, injects his expert knowledge into the aid and development discourse, particularly on the topic of poverty alleviation in Africa. In ten chapters spiced with a few reader-friendly tables, he argues for well-designed development strategies and foreign assistance programs that are informed by lessons of the past and those that can also stimulate growth and reduce poverty in the least developing countries. He rightly underlines the time proven association between democracy and free market in the efforts to alleviate poverty globally.
African Studies Quarterly | Volume 5, Issue 1 | Winter 2001 http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v5/v5i1reviews.pdf 60 | BOOK REVIEWS Taking account of present realities in Africa, most notably Africa's share of the deepening problems of poverty and the degradation of the global environment, Stepanek's contends that developmental principles should not be set within an arena of purely material largesse (resource-centered), but within deeply-rooted traditions of open markets and democracy.
The author also argues that poverty in late-developing countries cannot be successfully alleviated without understanding and challenging all of its causes. Toward that end, Western governments, international development banks and donor agencies must reexamine how they design and administer aid, so as to not add to the problems that already imperil poor people or squander talent, goodwill, and resources.
These are indeed daunting tasks, but Stepanek is optimistic:
" I have argued here that a handful of market and democratic principles can create a new basis for development understanding and integration for the world's one poor continent, and for western interests there…The reader may have gained an impression that I promote these principles with such unqualified enthusiasm that global and consumer homogenization are the inevitable outcome. That is by no means the intention-but it is a risk. Better that the poor world faces these risks-ones founded, for the first time, on their full participation-than face a historic but ruinous continuation of patronizing aid prescribed by others. Poor countries must sort economic, political, and cultural priorities for themselves." (234-235) This work is really self critical on many counts, but there are certainly downsides to a complete freeing of the markets in late-developing countries. The workings of the market will not always produce solutions to these countries problems, indeed, the evidence shows in many instances that they become worse as it fuels political resistance and harsher economic reforms.
For example, how does one explain the sliding currencies and waning investor confidence in East Asian economies and the disastrous consequences on the poor in recent times? The author should have addressed these and related questions in a more convincing way than he attempted in this work.
The author notes that his primary audience is the American public, especially the younger generation, who he argues need to be convinced of the value of poor-world development, foreign aid, and the personal commitment to noble goals. It must be emphasized again and again that this a brilliant and self-critical work. Consequently, it is a must read for all stakeholders in the development of late-developing countries, all true Africans (at home and in the diaspora) who yearn for and are working towards a better sub-Saharan Africa. Indeed, as with some other related works, it sets the tone for the needed and crucial development paradigm for what Africa might look like: that is, development anchored on the principles of free market and democracy by, for and of the African people. Africa must look to itself, Stepanek concludes, if it is to achieve stable and long-lasting development into the 21st century.
Osaore Aideyan Department of Politics Claremont Graduate University
1. Carol Lancaster, "Redesigning Foreign Aid", Foreign Affairs, 79:5, September/October 2000; and Koehn, Peter H. and Olatunde J.B. Ojo (eds.). 1999. Making Aid Work:
Innovative Approaches for Africa at the Turn of the Century. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.
Trevor Huddleston: A Life. Robin Denniston. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999. 288 pp.
Robin Denniston has written a 'celebration' of Father Trevor Huddleston (1913-1998), who was a brother in the Community of the Resurrection (CR), a High Anglican monastic group.
Denniston previously edited his subject's 1956 book Naught for Your Comfort about Huddleston's Christian ministry work to the residents of Sophiatown, Johannesburg. Naught for Your Comfort ranks alongside Alan Paton's Cry the Beloved Country as an impassioned cry for human dignity and, it provides much insight on white Christians and liberal South Africans who were sympathetic to the anti-apartheid movement in its infancy. Huddleston's observations are especially important, since he arrived in South Africa as the ANC Youth League was forming and became a key ally to the anti-apartheid cause until his recall in 1956, by his monastic Superior.
Denniston traces Huddleston's growth from a popular spiritual counselor into a political ally of Sophiatown's people. He became a key figure opposing the destruction of the township, since it was the only one offering Johannesburg's Africans freehold tenure. During his residency in Sophiatown, Huddleston befriended luminaries like Oliver Tambo, Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. Huddleston's campaigning to save Sophiatown launched his 40-year antiapartheid career, which included his leadership of Britain's Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM) from 1981 to 1998 and trustee work for the International Defense and Aid Fund (IDAF).
Denniston's biography draws Huddleston in warm, yet evenhanded, colors. His strengths, foibles and weaknesses are detailed and the author's well-executed work remains accessible to both general readers, as well as those interested in monastic life or racial justice. The book is also invaluable to academic researchers intrigued by Huddleston's life and faith. Denniston writes frankly about Huddleston and the strains brought on him by his 1956 recall. Beyond delving into Huddleston's complex personality, Denniston discusses Huddleston's singleminded anti-apartheid crusade, his service as bishop of Masasi (Tanzania), Stepney (London) and Mauritius and his relationships and conflicts with his South African friends, such as Tambo and Tutu.
Denniston's investigation does not shy away from controversial territory. Indeed, he confronts and rejects suspicions that Huddleston had unhealthy and inappropriate attitudes and feelings toward children (p. xxii). The author also shares the reflections of Father Nicolas Stebbing CR, who was a caretaker and confidant during Huddleston's final years. Stebbing, for example, wonders whether Huddleston suffered from constant bouts of depression. To his African Studies Quarterly | Volume 5, Issue 1 | Winter 2001 http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v5/v5i1reviews.pdf 62 | BOOK REVIEWS credit though, Denniston merely provides evidence and information, but leaves it to the readers to decide if Huddleston's actions and personality displayed any depressive tendencies.
The author also stresses the importance of looking at Huddleston's career within the context of his spiritual development. Failure to do so makes his struggle incomprehensible.