Extract of review by Kathleen Sheldon (University of California, Los Angeles) in African Book Publishing Record, Vol. XXXIV/2/2008 pp 98-99:
"Helen Scanlon focuses her study on 30 years in the midtwentieth century in Cape Town and the Western Cape Province. The first half of the book is a useful overview of the political situation in the years immediately following the expansion of racial oppression after 1948. ...The second half of the book narrows the scope of the study even further by presenting brief but informative biographies of six women from varied racial backgrounds. ... In an appendix, Scanlon includes briefer profiles of nearly 30 further women activists. In all of the biographies Scanlon emphasizes the influences that encouraged these women to become politically involved and in most cases to continue that activism over a period of difficult decades.
"These books [Representation and Reality and Women in South African History] are recommended for university libraries with holdings on women’s history and African studies."
Extract from review by Sheila Meintjes (University of the Witwatersrand) in Feminist Africa Issue 9 (2007) pp.131-138:
"This is a beautifully-written political history that, through both organisational histories and a personal narrative approach, explores how the intersection of the intimate and the personal with the everyday issues that shape women’s lives, such as rents, wages, housing and food, can catapult women into political activism and organisation."