I. FILATOVA, A. DAVIDSON. Russia and South Africa: Building Bridges

Author: A. Voyevodsky

И. ФИЛАТОВА, А. ДАВИДСОН. Россия и Южная Африка: наведение мостов, М., Издательский дом Государственного университета - Высшей школы экономики, 2012, 491 с.

I. FILATOVA, A. DAVIDSON. Russia and South Africa: Building Bridges, Moscow, The Publishing House of the State University-Higher School of Economics, 2012, 491 pp.

About 40 years ago, Russian Africanists had to argue that our country was not only able to make studies of South Africa's history but was actually doing it in a fruitful, high-level research way. Back in 1972 Apollon Davidson wrote: "Our historians have little experience of work in Africa, and as regards the southern part of that continent, they have not yet set foot therein."1 Indeed, any information about the distant country had to be gained literally bit by bit. And as for the information that was luckily obtained, it was necessary to carefully sift it and shuck off ideological husk or speculations. Only very few Soviet historians had the good fortune to actually meet people from South Africa. But it was precisely at a time when there existed seemingly insurmountable barriers between our countries that real acts of "building bridges" between the Soviet Union and the Republic of South Africa were actually taking place. Just how it was happening is the subject of a new book authored by two famous Russian Africanist historians Apollon Davidson and Irina Filatova. The book under review is a continuation of the monograph published two years earlier-"Russia and South Africa: Three Centuries of Relations."2 In regard to these works, we can rightfully speak not of two separate books, but of an integral research project that was carried out not within the last few years but throughout decades.3

The reader may wonder why the second part of this collective work is subtitled "building bridges" whereas the history of relations and contacts between the two countries dates back several centuries. The answer, as the authors show, ...

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