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SWITZER Les (ed.), South Africa’s Alternative Press. Voices of Protest and Resistance, 1880–1960, Cambridge University Press, 2009.

This is the first full-length study of the protest-cum-resistance press and its role in the struggle for a democratic South Africa between the 1880s and 1960s. South Africa’s alternative press played a crucial, but still largely undocumented, role in the making of modern South Africa. Projecting the point of view of intermediary social groups, who saw themselves as a modernising, upwardly mobile non-ethnic force in the struggle to create a black middle-class culture in South Africa, these presses mirrored political realities that differed substantially from those projected by South Africa’s established commercial press, which was owned and controlled by whites, and concerned almost exclusively with the political, economic and social life of the white population. An important venue for an emerging black literary tradition, these alternative presses also constitute a unique political and social archive.
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