WE ARE FIGHTING THE WORLD, a history of the Marashea gangs in South Africa, 1947-1999

: Kynoch (G.)

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200pp., maps, illus., paperback, Ohio and Pietermaritzburg, 2005


Gary Kynoch describes the combination of coercive force and administrative weakness that characterized the apartheid state and made it possible for the Marashea (or the "Russians"), a violent African criminal society, to operate outside of government control throughout the apartheid era. For Kynoch, the Marashea's ability to prosper is at the root of the violent crime epidemic that currently plagues South Africa.

"An extremely important contribution to South African scholarship that also offers a wealth of findings for comparative scholarship in the fields of colonialism, state formation, police science, criminology, resistance, migration, and gender studies." Tom Lodge, author of Politics in South Africa

Gary Kynoch is Associate Professor of History at Dalhousie University in Halifax.