Education, Race and Employment in Rhodesia: a Review of the Review
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In his review of this book (RJE, Vol. 9, No. 4, December 1975 pp 157/ 175) Professor Irvine concludes his summary of what he considers to be both its value and its defects with the statement, “Nevertheless it should be read. But not without qualification. And not uncritically”. With this I concur completely. No intelligent reader should do otherwise, particularly with a book dealing with a subject of such central significance for this Country’s social and economic development. The same should be said of Professor Irvine’s review. It is extensive if not exhaustive, contains points of valuable detail and raises one issue of major analytical significance. It is at certain points highly entertaining, and generous in endorsing certain arguments the book puts forth. Unfortunately the review also contains one blatantly false assertion regarding what the book is alleged to have said and, more diffusely and by implication, attributes other conclusions to the work which it does not make. The result is the creation of a series of straw men which the reviewer then proceeds to demolish with magisterial gusto but which have little if anything to do with the real conclusions of the volume and which are likely to mislead the unwary reader into the assumption that the book presents a perspective and takes a position which, in fact, it does not. The admonition of the review is therefore singularly appropriate to itself — it should be read, but not without qualification, and not uncritically.