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

Author Irina Filatova discusses her book ‘The Hidden Thread’, about Russia and South Africa in the Soviet Era. Editing: Lionel da Silva. Recorded 07/11/2013.

7th November 2013

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The Hidden Thread 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.

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Written by Irina Filatova, Professor of Russia’s National Research University Higher School of Economics and Professor Emeritus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal; and Apollon Davidson, Professor of Russia’s National Research University Higher School of Economics and head of the African Studies Centre of the Institute of General History (Russian Academy of Sciences).

The Hidden Thread is published by JonathanBall Publishers

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