a challenging, robustly honest account of South African history in the round, reminding one of the enormous complexity (and of the equal complexity of the present) but at the same time of its - yes indeed - romance. ( LITERARY REVIEW)
R. W. Johnson is a historian, but also a polemical journalist, and he writes with passion about the present. He provides a robustly liberal critique of the new South Africa. ( ECONOMIST)
R W Johnson is well-qualified... Johnson shows his mastery of both the broad sweep and the complexities of history without bias. (ANTHONY SAMPSON EVENING STANDARD)
The reach of this elegant, angry essay is astonishing... it is Johnson's withering depiction of the new black government, 10 years in power, that provides the hardcore excitement... absolutely essential reading. (CHRISTOPHER HOPE SUNDAY TIMES)
The South African saga is a magnificent drama. It is told in this remarkable book with clarity and skill by a man with the courage to speak out on a continent where the fate of the bringers of bad news is not usually comfortable. ( THE HERALD (GLASGOW))
a trenchant treatment of the subject. (RONALD SEGAL THE SPECTATOR)
[a] short, readable gallop through South Africa's history. (Terry Bell NEW STATESMAN (22.11.04))
This is a well-written and necessary book which challenges the myths draping the rainbow nation. (JUSTIN CARTWRIGHT DAILY TELEGRAPH)
Johnson's judgements are extremely astute. ( THE INDEPENDENT)
a splendidly argumentative history, and great fun... the argument rings loud and clear ( FINANCIAL TIMES)
The magic of Mandela's appeal to unity and forgiveness was certain only to have limited effect. But it is Johnson's commitment to the same ideals that makes his understanding of South Africa so important. ( CATHOLIC HERALD)
Africa is the cradle of mankind and the first traces of modern man come from South Africa. But the country has also experienced waves of inward migration from the earliest times, and the turmoil and wars that accompany them. Dutch settlers landed at Table Bay in 1652. In the young colony inter-racial marriages were common but the segregationist trend was soon clear. Also clear was the relentless move north and east by the colonists - by the intrepid trekker would become the iconic figure of white South Africa.
The 19th century saw the rise of several African states, notably the Zulus under their leader Shaka; the Great Trek of 1834-38; the Zulu wars; the discovery of diamonds and then gold. And then in 1899 the Boer War, with its bitter aftermath. After 1918 Afrikaner nationalism began to gather momentum and in 1948 apartheid became official policy. These were the years of Dr Verwoerd and John Vorster, the high noon of apartheid. But soon the ANC had its own momentum. After Sharpeville came the Rivonia trial, the Soweto uprising, the death of Steve Biko and the United Democratic Front.
But it was economic problems and the end of the Cold War which finally finished apartheid and released Nelson Mandela in 1990. Since 1994 crime, unemployment and inequality have flourished alongside the callousness of Thabo Mbeki's regime - thwarting the delivery of anti-Aids drugs when over five million (mainly black) South Africans are HIV-positive.
The author delivers frank and devastating judgements both on the apartheid years and government by the new ANC elite. For this is a country that still awaits a government who will govern for the whole nation.
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Descripción Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 0297646729