Kevin Davie works as a journalist and teaches journalism at Wits University. His new book is Freedom Rider: 10000km by mountain bike across South Africa.
David Graeber’s Debt: The First 5000 Years made me realise that current issues, such as chronic indebtedness, have been a challenge for as long as societies have produced surpluses through farming. My reading of the translations of ancient Sanskrit texts on the internet tells me in time past the issue was tackled by setting strict limits on the interest rates which can be charged to prevent a good thing from being overdone.
I recently read Bruce Clark’s Love Sex Fleas God. He was the product of an absent father and a mother who deserted her children for the embrace of Scientology. He later put his life together as a stay-at-home dad and became the parent he never had. His story is astonishing, the writing exceptional.
I also read Rowan Moore’s Why we Build, an architectural journey around the world in celebration of extraordinary architecture. One project which stands out is the High Line, once a railway line which crossed New York in an elevated position above the streets, now an urban walkway and chill space. It made me think of our own Braamfontein Spruit, which could benefit similarly from intervention by the authorities.
- Freedom Rider is published by Jacana Media