Gail M. Gerhart

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Gail M. Gerhart is a member of Human Rights Watch Africa Advisory Committee.

"She worked in sub-Saharan Africa for 17 years before assuming her current post at The American University in Cairo. Most of her published work centers on black politics in South Africa. She is the author of Black Power in South Africa: The Evolution of an Ideology (University of California Press, 1978), and the co-author of the seven volume series From Protest to Challenge: a Documentary History of African Politics in South Africa, 1882-1990 (Indiana University Press and University of South Africa Press). Since 1990 she has been the Africa book reviewer for Foreign Affairs. She has twice testified before the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa (1986 and 1987), and has served as a consultant to the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Columbia University, the Ford Foundation, and the publishers of Nelson Mandela's autobiography. She has a special interest in refugee issues, and served for two and a half years as the representative of the International Rescue Committee in Kenya (1977-79). In South Africa (1997-98) she served on an inter-university committee on the application of digital imaging technology to South African archival collections. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Africa advisory board of Human Rights Watch." [1]

Gail is married to John D. Gerhart.


  • Gail M. Gerhart, Black Power in South Africa: The Evolution of Ideology, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978. Funded by the Ford Foundation
  • Thomas G. Karis and Gail M. Gerhart, From Protest to Challenge: A Documentary History of African Politics in South Africa, 1882-1990, Stanford, Calif., Hoover Institution Press [1972- ,vol. 1-4]; vol. 5, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997.