Extract from review by Karen L. Harris (University of Pretoria) that appeared in the South African Historical Journal (Issue 52, 2005)
"The author, Michael Morris, ... is a well-seasoned journalist who must be commended for the wide sweep of material he has mastered in the production of this book. His style is thus essentially journalistic, which makes for a fast-moving text that switches between the past and the present, but persistently adheres to the central theme, the book's subtitle 'the journey to freedom in South Africa'. True to his profession, each chapter has an eye-catching headline-type title, and in most cases begins with a particular vignette which leads the reader into the theme under discussion. The double-column format which is interspersed with quoted extracts and occasional insertions, is lavishly illustrated with sketches and photographs on virtually every page. This also complies with the journalistic flair of the book, and gives it a less dense rather than heavily academic overtone.
"Educators across the board should welcome the book into their libraries both as a teaching tool and as a general reference for learners. The already mentioned wealth of illustrations along with the extensive use of extracts, quotations, poems and other thought-provoking sources are invaluable for the innovative teaching of history at a variety of levels. Moreover, Morris's assertion that the 'themes of the larger narrative' can be traced in the 'lives of individuals' (p. 71) leads to the regular use of biographical sketches, which in turn provide the educator with relevant material for creative assignments and discussion. The comprehensive index also makes the search for information on specific topics easier for both educator and learner."
Extract from review by A.J.B. Humphreys, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa in the South African Archeological Bulletin 59 (180): 71-73, 2004:
Michael Morris has produced a major contribution to our [historical archeology] resource base in this endeavour. The range of his reading is truly impressive, ranging as it does from formal historical studies through personal reminiscences to novels and his integrative writing skills are enviable (but then he is a highly respected journalist) and, as already intimated, his insights are profound. One can only congratulate Morris on an excellent piece of work and commend it to the widest possible readership.
Jackie Loos, Cape Argus, 25 June 2004:
"Given that this book was commissioned and funded by the Department of Education and produced in collaboration with the Social Integration and Cohesion Research Programme of the HSRC, one might be forgiven for expecting something one-dimensional and bureaucratic. It is quite the opposite.
Michael Morris, a thoughtful and perceptive special writer ... describes the evolution of Man in Africa and follows the story of black and white interaction in South Africa right up to the present. Three-quarters of the book is devoted to the period prior to 1990 and the final chapters tell of the sometimes disheartening, often exhilarating, roller-coaster ride we have experienced since the release of Nelson Mandela.
The text, engaging and occasionally provocative, is enlivened by telling quotes from a wide variety of sources, both poetry and prose, with pertinent black and white illustrations on almost every page."
Extract from review by Marisa Pineau (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Argentina) in Tydskrif vir Letterkunde 43(1) 2006 pp. 207-208:
"Although the author engages the usual chronology (with the well-known turning points: 1910, 1948, 1960, 1990 and 1994) he intends to write the history of his country in an interesting and different way, a participative one. He uses poetry, songs, book and newspaper extracts, drawings as well as white and black pictures to illustrate the text. These additional forms of information complement the written text and create an interesting whole. ...
"The author's writing is appealing, and this makes for engaging reading. Readers with some degree of education will find the book accessible and easy to read. They will find information not only about their national history (the bibliography is useful, appropriate and up to date) but also new interpretations of well-known events. One of the best things about the book is that it does not pretend to be the last word in history, as so often happens in books of this type. The author prefers to question rather than provide ultimate and final answers."
Extract from review by Alan Gregor Cobley (University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados) in African Studies Review Vol 49.3 (Dec 2006) p. 92:
"... I wish to emphasize that Every Step of the Way has been meticulously researched and draws on much of the best historical writing in the last twenty years in an effort to present a picture of the South African past that is as inclusive as possible. It also makes good use of contemporary literary and pictorial sources to break up the text and provides an exciting variety of images and perspectives on the issues discussed. An authoritative note is added by frequent citation of key historians and a good supporting list of readings for each chapter."
Click on the links below to read the reviews:
Sunday Times Lifestyle 10 July 2005
Sunday Times 15 August 2004
This Day 29 June 2004
This Day 24 June 2004
Argus 25 June 2004
DFA 28 May 2004
Argus 21 May 2004
NMT 21 May 2004