196 pp., illus., paperback, First S.A.Edition, Pietermaritzburg, 2013
First published in Canada in 2012.
Archie L.Dick examines records from a slave lodge, women's associations, army education units, universities, courts, libraries, prison departments and political groups to uncover the works of fiction and non-fiction, magazines, and newspapers that were read by political activists and prisoners. He also exposes the book and library schemes that elites used to regulate reading.
"This book offers us a fine example of a historian working in an imaginative way to show how, at various junctures in South Africa's past, book and reading cultures have arisen, survived or even thrived despite the ways in which controlling and repressive regimes have sought to destroy or limit the impact of reading and writing for their own purposes. It makes for a delightful book that can be consumed in one sitting or be savoured slowly in half-hour bites." Charles van Onselen, Research Professor in the Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria.
Archie L.Dick is a professor in the Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria.