Johan Fourie's blog

I'd rather be a comma than a fullstop


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Grape, by Jeanne Viall, Wilmot James and Jakes Gerwel, offers an interesting perspective on the South African wine and table grape industry. The book is divided into eleven diverse chapters, including the origins of the wine industry, the demand for labour and its social consequences, South African wine consumption, the impact of climate change and land redistribution and transformation issues. A good blend. It is not an academic work, although it is firmly ingrained in the (historical and scientific) literature, except for a few minor errors (like spelling my name incorrectly). And although the narrative is sometimes coloured by a bias towards the disposessed and disadvantaged, it nevertheless is thought-provoking if not outright challenging. Next time you need to buy a gift for a visiting academic, buy her this rather than another Stellenbosch coffee-table book. Footnote: I’ve reviewed the book in Afrikaans soon to be published on Litnet.


Written by Johan Fourie

January 22, 2012 at 17:15

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  1. […] Viall, Wilmot James and Jakes Gerwel – summarises this history very well (I reviewed it here). The practice does not continue today, of course, and is illegal: farm workers are now paid a […]

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