In retrospect it seems anomalous that an eminent academic - the author was professor of ethics and politics at the University of Cape Town - should have been writing about the democratic idea (demokratiese gedagte) in South Africa in 1939. He was, however, echoing the then entrenched status of the country's Afrikaans-speaking and English-speaking white groups, and his book begins with an analysis of what South Africa had adopted from the democratic experience of the two mother countries, the Netherlands and "England". Soon Murray reaches his main theme - democracy in action, including parties, the House of Assembly, the Senate and the civil service, with a six-page nod in the direction of trusteeship for the Native (die voogdy oor die Naturel).
The book - small type, so not as short as suggested by its 182 pages of text and bibliography - paints a clear picture of the institutions of power in South Africa up to the start of the second world war. What a pity it is not available in translation!
This copy is in excellent condition overall - there is little more than the Dewey classification on the spine and a rubber stamp on the front free endpaper to indicate that it spent time in the library of the Trompsburg (OFS) High School. Plastic-protected torn dustjacket (see image), maroon cloth-boards, and unmarked and undiscoloured contents.
- Jacket Condition: Good
- Binding Condition: Very Good
- Overall Condition: Very Good
- Size: 220 x 145
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