The Hidden Thread. Russia and South Africa in the Soviet Era

The Hidden Thread investigates the relatitonship between Russia and South Africa in the Soviet Era.
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Title: The Hidden Thread
Subtitle: Russia and South Africa in the Soviet Era
Authors: Irina Filatova; Apollon Davidson
Publisher: Jonathan Ball Publishers
Johannesburg & Cape Town, South Africa 2013
ISBN 9781868424993 / ISBN 978-1-86842-499-3
Softcover, 15x23 cm, 553 pages, several b/w and colour photos


The Hidden Thread: Russia and South Africa in the Soviet Era is a journey of revelation about the relationship between Soviet Russia and South Africa, hidden for most of its length. The story is told with insight and depth by Irina Filatova and Apollon Davidson, who have had a decades long association researching and writing on Russian and South African politics and history. This insightful work follows the often surprising twists and turns of the history of South Africa’s relationship with Russia and its people which started in the eighteenth century and is still very much alive today. The story evolves from the Russian volunteers who fought alongside the Boers in the Anglo-Boer War to South Africans who participated in the Russian revolution and civil war; from the Russian Jewish immigration to South Africa to the close involvement of the South African communists in the Communist International; from the Soviet consulates in South Africa and the activities of South Africa’s Friends of the Soviet Union Society during the Second World War to the vicissitudes of the Cold War and the ‘hot’ war in Angola; from the SACP and ANC’s relations with the USSR to the volte-face of perestroika and South Africa’s transition and to today’s business, political, cultural and sometimes criminal connections between Russians and South Africans.

Contents: The Hidden Thread. Russia and South Africa in the Soviet Era

Abreviations and acronyms
Inroduction: Why South Africa - and Russia?
Three Centuries: Russia and South Africa Before the Soviet Era
Enter the Bolsheviks
New Politics and New Business Contacts
In the Communist International
Indoctrination or Scholarship? Teaching and Studying South Africa at the Communist University of Eastern Toilers
The 'New Jerusalem': The USSR's Friends and Fellow Travellers
Together Against Hitler
The Red Peril: the USSR in South Africa's Cold War Ideology and Policy
Against Colonialism and Apartheid: South Africa in Soviet Theory and Policy in the Cold War Era
The Secret War
The Regular War
The ANC, the SACP and the USSR
Comrades in Arms: Soviet Military Aid to the ANC
'Moscow Gold', Soviet Universities and Much Else
The Promised Land?
Percstroika: Winds of Change in the North
Pretoriastroika: Winds of Change in the South
Volte Face: Establishing Diplomatic Relations
Just Another Country?
Postscript: The USSR and the 'South African Miracle'