The Notorious Syndicalist J.T. Bain: A Scottish Radical in Colonial South Africa (Paperback)
  • The Notorious Syndicalist J.T. Bain: A Scottish Radical in Colonial South Africa (Paperback)

The Notorious Syndicalist J.T. Bain: A Scottish Radical in Colonial South Africa (Paperback)

Paperback 372 Pages / Published: 22/02/2005
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This book rediscovers a remarkable South African life. James T Bain, hero and antihero of the South African past, has a claim to be the founder of trade unionism and socialism in South Africa. He started the first substantial trade unions in southern Africa on the Rand in the early 1890s. His International Independent Labour Party, founded in 1899, was the first socialist party in sub-Saharan Africa. He was a close associate of both the founders of the Communist Party and of the white segregationists of the South African Labour Party. But his political views, like much else about him, were complex: he often hesitated between democratic and racist ideas.

Publisher: Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd
ISBN: 9781919931722
Number of pages: 372
Weight: 575 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 25 mm

"Some kinds of biography require a certain kind of alchemy. To snatch a forgotten life from obscurity and turn it into a memorable story requires diligent research compounded with imagination carefully balanced with empathy and detachment. From base metal Jonathan Hyslop has extracted pure gold with all its distinctive qualities: something with intrinsic value, which often surprises and which will undoubtedly endure.

If the function of biography is to give history a human face then Jonathan Hyslop, in his portrait of JT Bain, has given South African and especially Johannesburg history not only an outline of its features in the last decade of the nineteenth century and the first two decades of the twentieth but also colour, expression and, above all, character.

Jonathan Hyslop once again reminds us of the magic of biography. He takes an unknown person from the throng of history and turns him into a person of real interest. What is more, with meticulous research and a light and sympathetic pen, he casts his drama with a fascinating parade of colourful characters from Irish revolutionaries to Indian pacifists." --Tim Couzens, author, Tramp Royal and Murder at Morija

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