Apartheid-the brutal enforcement of racial segregation by South Africa's white governmentbecame official policy in post-World War II South Africa, coinciding with the rise of the civil-rights movement in the United States. From the Kennedy administration on, Washington spoke against apartheid but, pressured by American corporations making big profits in South Africa and the geopolitics of the cold war, did little to foster change. Anti-apartheid activists turned their attention instead to South Africa's Achilles heel: its economy. Soon institutional America-churches, foundations, union and government pension funds-joined activists and college students in pressuring American business to get out of South Africa. Their efforts built to a climax in the 1980s, when South Africa became the burning issue of the day, the United States imposed punitive sanctions, and the apartheid regime collapsed.
Robert Kinloch Massie re-creates the passions and struggles of these years, deftly showing how American and South African politics, money and personalities were intertwined in these years. Populated with real-life heroes and villains, bursting with colorful incident, Loosing the Bonds is an inspiring chronicle of one of the most important struggles of our lifetime.