"South Africa, my home"


  • Bill Freund




The Southern Journal of Contemporary History is privileged to feature an extract of Bill Freund’s autobiography courtesy of Wits University Press, who gave us permission to reproduce the extract and Professor Patrick Bond, who assisted in making this possible. William Mark “Bill” Freund (6 July 1944 – 17 August 2020) was an American academic historian who was particularly known as an authority on Africa’s economic and labour history with a particular focus on South Africa. He taught for much of his career at the University of Natal and its successor institution, the University of KwaZulu-Natal. A self-described “materialist”, his most notable publication was The Making of Contemporary Africa (1984) which was widely praised as a survey of contemporary scholarship on the social and economic history of Africa in the colonial and post-colonial eras. He wrote widely on African labour and urban history subjects. We are saddened by his passing on, and may all his friends, family and colleagues find comfort in the beautiful work he left behind. For more, see WB Freund, Bill Freund: An Historian’s Passage to Africa (Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2021). 


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How to Cite

Freund, B. (2021). "South Africa, my home". Southern Journal for Contemporary History, 46(1), 183-199. https://doi.org/10.18820/24150509/SJCH46.v1.9