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Announcing the Inaugural André Brink Memorial Lecture, to be delivered at this year's @FranLitFest bit.ly/1EPQRNb

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Herman Lategan resenseer Askari deur Jacob Dlamini

Askari: A story of collaboration and betrayal in the anti-apartheid struggleUitspraak: wortel

In dié boek verken die voormalige Business Day-joernalis dr. Jacob Dlamini die sielkundige motiewe agter so ’n politieke bollemakiesieslanery.

Hy vertel ook van die verval aan albei kante: Die gefuif en gedrink in van die ANC se politieke kampe, die gerinkink op Vlakplaas, die volslae alkoholisme, veelwywery, vuisslanery en moorddadigheid van die veiligheidspolisie, Askari’s én vryheidsvegters.

Askari is beklemmend, maar ook paradoksaal verruimend.

Boekbesonderhede


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Gavin Evans Reviews The New Radicals: A generational memoir of the 1970s by Glenn Moss

The New Radicals: A generational memoir of the 1970sVerdict: carrot

The history of the National Union of South African Students (Nusas) that my generation received tended to start around 1976. Perhaps it was the solipsism of youth, prompting the assumptions about who invented the wheel, but we lacked curiosity about those who preceded us. Their world was, at best, opaque.

Which is one reason why I found The New Radicals to be such an important addition to “struggle” history – a book that fills in a decade-long gap in impressive detail, ­leaving no doubt about the immense achievements of this innovative generation.

Book Details


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2015 Franschhoek Literary Festival: Confirmed International Authors

FLF 2015

 
Alert! The Franschhoek Literary Festival organisers have allowed Books LIVE to share a sneak preview of the updated list of international authors confirmed to attend this year’s event.

The 2015 Franschhoek Literary Festival takes place from Friday, 15 May, to Sunday, 17 May, and there are a number of big names to look forward to.

Books LIVE revealed the provisional list of authors for FLF 2015 in December last year, but we can now share a more complete list of authors from overseas.

The list includes Nigerian writer Helon Habila, who was announced last night as a winner of this year’s Windham Campbell Literature Prize for Fiction, along with Ivan Vladislavić, who will also be at the festival to talk about his new book of short stories, 101 Detectives.

Keep an eye on Books LIVE over the next few weeks for the full list of local authors!

* * * * *

Updated list of international authors for Franschhoek Literary Festival 2015

David Attwell, University of York academic, whose critical biography JM Coetzee and the life of writing, face to face with time is to be published in April.

JM Coetzee
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Belinda Bauer, a British crime writer who grew up in South Africa and England. Her debut novel Blacklands won the British Crime Writers’ Association’s Gold Dagger award for the best crime novel of 2010. Read an interview with Bauer here.

The Facts of Life and DeathRubberneckerFinders KeepersBlacklands
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Martin Bossenbroek, Dutch historian whose book De Boerenoorlog has been translated into English and Afrikaans by Jacana Media.

Die BoereoorlogThe Boer War
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chris Bradford, English author, professional musician and black belt martial artist, here for the Book Week for Young Readers programme, and an event for schools at the main festival, on Friday.

GamerBodyguardThe Way of the Warrior
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tim Butcher, English journalist and war-correspondent, and author of the critically acclaimed Blood River, Chasing the Devil and, most recently, The Trigger.

Blood RiverChasing the DevilThe Trigger
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mark Connelly, Professor of Modern British Military History, based at Stellenbosch University, from the University of Kent.

Dorothy Driver, born in South Africa and now Professor of English at the University of Adelaide, Australia. She is also Emerita Professor at the University of Cape Town, where she retains an Honorary Research Associateship. Driver will be visiting as part of a focus on the 150th anniversary of Olive Schreiner’s birth.

Gavin Evans, born in London but grew up in Cape Town. Returned to London in 1993, where he worked as a freelance journalist (for The Guardian, Esquire, Men’s Health). His memoir Dancing Shoes is Dead was shortlisted for the Alan Paton Prize. His latest book is Black Brain, White Brain.

Dancing Shoes is DeadBlack Brain, White Brain
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eshkol Nevo, Israeli author of the Book Publishers Association Gold Prize and FFI-Raymond Wallier Prize-winning novel Homesick, as well as World Cup Wishes, and most recently Neuland.

HomesickWorld Cup WishesNeuland
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fiona Forde, an Irish journalist based in Cape Town who has for a number of years covered politics and current affairs in South Africa and abroad for print and radio media. Her first book on Malema, An Inconvenient Youth: Julius Malema and the ‘New’ ANC, was released in 2011, and an update version, Still an Inconvenient Youth: Julius Malema Carries On, was published last year.

Still an Inconvenient Youth
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Helon Habila, Nigerian novelist and poet, and winner of the 2001 Caine Prize for African Writing.

Oil on WaterMeasuring TimeWaiting for an AngelThe Granta Book of the African Short Story
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jackie Kay, Scottish award-winning poet and novelist, with Nigerian heritage, who will judge the Poetry for Life finals at the FLF (see www.poetryforlife.co.za for more information).

Red Dust RoadReality, realityAdoption PapersTrumpet
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
John Boyne, Irish novelist, whose most recent book A History of Loneliness. Boyne will also be at the Book Week for Young Readers with The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

A History of LonelinessThe Boy in the Striped Pajamas
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lyndall Gordon, Cape Town-born award-winning biographer of Emily Dickinson, TS Eliot, Charlotte Brontë and Mary Wollstonecraft, among others, has recently published a memoir Divided Lives. (She may also be presenting a life-writing masterclass/workshop.)

Divided Lives: Dreams of a Mother and DaughterTS EliotCharlotte Brontë
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Romain Puertolas, a former French border guard, who then wrote the smash hit The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe.

Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Morag Styles, Cambridge Professor of Children’s Poetry, who has spent a professional lifetime exploring children’s poetry from every angle.

From the Garden to the StreetBy the Pricking of my ThumbsOpening the Nursery Door
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sarah Waters, bestselling Welsh author of six novels, the most recent of which is The Paying Guests.

Tipping the VelvetThe Night WatchFingersmithThe Paying Guests

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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PEN Afrikaans veroordeel die skending van pers- en meningsvryheid by SONA 2015

PEN Afrikaans het standpunt ingeneem teen gisteraand se chaotiese staatsrede waar selfoonseine deur ‘n spesiale toestel geblok is. Mediaverteenwoordigers kon vir ‘n geruime tyd glad nie nuus na buite stuur nie en die situasie is eers opgelos nadat LP’s ‘n punt van orde geroep het om die saak te beredder.

“Die blokkering van selfoonseine is ‘n blatante vorm van sensuur wat inbreuk maak op die joernaliste se vryheid van spraak,” skryf Kerneels Breytenbach aan lede van PEN Afrikaans.

Lees die organisasie se belangrike stellingname oor hierdie saak:

 

Beste lid van PEN Afrikaans

PEN Afrikaans spreek hiermee sy skok en verontwaardiging uit oor die wyse waarop die regte van joernaliste en LP’s gisteraand, 12 Februarie, geskend is voor die aanvang van president Zuma se toespraak in die parlement. Die blokkering van selfoonseine is ‘n blatante vorm van sensuur wat inbreuk maak op die joernaliste se vryheid van spraak, en die publiek se reg om te weet wat tydens ‘n ope sitting van die parlement gebeur. LP’s is ook só verhoed om met hul kiesafdelings en ander te kommunikeer. Ons doen ‘n beroep op die Speaker om onverwyld ‘n ondersoek in te stel na die oorsprong van die blokkering, en die skuldige partye tot die uiterste te vervolg.

Hierdie soort lafhartige optrede herinner aan die ergste vergrype van die polisiestaat wat Apartheid-Suid-Afrika was. ‘n Party/regering wat vryheid van spraak en die mening van die volk tot so ‘n mate vrees dat hy die selfoonseine van die pers en parlementariërs blok, bevorder nie die demokratiese proses nie en kan nie vertrou word om na die belange van die land om te sien nie.

Met vriendelike groete
Kerneels Breytenbach
Voorsitter: PEN Afrikaans

Volg PEN Afrikaans op Facebook of Twitter om op hoogte te bly van hul sake.


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Parliamentary Staff Boycott, No DA on Red Carpet, Andile Mngxitama Revealing Secrets: SONA 2015 Drama So Far

The build-up to this year’s edition of the president’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) has probably been the liveliest yet.

From the EFF promising to walk out if the President Jacob Zuma does not address the #PayBackTheMoney issues relating to the upgrade of his homestead, Nkandla to the DA refusing to participate in the red carpet part of the event and parliament staff planning on boycott it entirely, there has not been a lack of drama surrounding SONA 2015.

In one of the most dramatic turn of events EFF renegade Andile Mngxitama called a press conference at midday, claiming to have learned “surreal” information from Gayton McKenzie which he planned on revealing to the media before tonight’s SONA.

 
However, the press conference turned ugly before it could even start, with EFF members in Malema’s faction attacking Mngxitama to prevent him from speaking. Mngxitama had to flee the premises, heading to a undisclosed location to proceed with the press briefing:

At the time of this article Mngxitama was yet to reveal what he had learned. He is currently at the top of trending topics in South Africa on Twitter, with people responding in a way only South Africans can:


 

Baleka Mbete, speaker of the National Assembly, spoke to SA Politics Unspun author Stephen Grootes earlier today, saying that she is “more ready than I have ever felt” for tonight’s SONA and that they have been preparing for this for very long. She says the anticipation is not just related to Malema and his promised disruption, but to the general feeling in the country and the high regard for the SONA.

Listen to the podcast:

 

 
South Africa is a country rich in political books, with many relating to the EFF, Malema, the ANC, Zuma, SONA and politics in general. Have a look at some them:

SA Politics UnspunState of the Nation: South Africa 1994-2014Biko Lives!The Fall of the ANCRemaking the ANCIt's Code Red!The Coming RevolutionAgainst All OddsThe Uncomfortable TruthInsurgent DiplomatStill an Inconvenient YouthRagged GloryFrom a Place of BlacknessTafelberg Short – Nkandla: The end of Zuma?

 

Book details

  • Biko Lives!: Contesting the Legacies of Steve Biko edited by Andile Mngxitama, Amanda Alexander, Nigel Gibson
    EAN: 9780230606494
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!
  • State of the Nation: South Africa 1994-2014: A twenty-year review of freedom and democracy by Thenjiwe Meyiwa, Muxe Nkondo, Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu, Moses Sithole, Francis Nyamnjoh
    Book homepage
    EAN: 9780796924612
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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Read Nelson Mandela’s First Speech as a Free Man, 25 Years Later (Plus: Free eBook)

Today marks 25 years since Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison in the Western Cape. Read the speech he wrote for the occasion, and watch a video of him delivering it from the balcony of City Hall in Cape Town.

Long Walk to FreedomLong Walk to FreedomLong Walk to FreedomLong Walk to FreedomGesprekke met myselfOur MadibaMandela

Goeiemore, Mnr. MandelaGood Morning, Mr MandelaMandela's KinsmenThe Cambridge Companion to Nelson MandelaOpposite MandelaDoing Life with Mandela

YouTube Preview Image

 

nullTo celebrate, our sister site Daily Planet has made a free ebook available, entitled Freedom For Nelson Mandela.

Read Madiba’s speech here, as it was delivered, courtesy of the Nelson Mandela Foundation:
 
 

Amandla! Amandla! iAfrika! Mayibuye!

Friends, comrades, and fellow South Africans, I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy, and freedom for all. I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people.

Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I, therefore, place the remaining years of my life in your hands.

On this day of my release I extend my sincere and warmest gratitude to the millions of my compatriots and those in every corner of the globe who have campaigned tirelessly for my release.

I extend special greetings to the people of Cape Town. This city to which, which has been my home for three decades.

Your mass marches, and other forms of struggle, have served as a constant source of strength to all political prisoners.

I salute the African National Congress. It has fulfilled our every expectation in its role as leader of the great march to freedom.

I salute our President, comrade Oliver Tambo, for leading the ANC even under the most difficult circumstances. I salute the rank and file members of the ANC. You have sacrificed life and limb in the pursuit of the noble cause of our struggle.

I salute combatants of Umkhonto we Sizwe, like Solomon Mahlangu and Ashley Kriel, who have paid the ultimate price for the freedom of all South Africans.

I salute the South African Communist Party for its steady contribution to the struggle for democracy. You have survived 40 years of unrelenting persecution. The memory of great communists like Moses Kotane, Yusuf Dadoo, Bram Fischer, and Moses Mabhida will be cherished for generations to come. I salute General-Secretary Joe Slovo, one of our finest patriots. We are heartened by the fact that the alliance between ourselves and the Party remains as strong as it always was.

I salute the United Democratic Front, the National Education Crisis Committee, the South African Youth Congress, the Transvaal and Natal Indian Congresses, and COSATU, and the many other formations of the Mass Democratic Movement.

I also salute the Black Sash and the National Union of South African Students. We note, with pride, that you have acted as the conscience of white South Africans. Even during the darkest days of the history of our struggle you held the flag of liberty high. The large-scale mass mobilisation of the past few years is one of the key factors which led to the opening of the final chapter of our struggle.

I extend my greetings to the working class of our country. Your organised strength is the pride of our movement. You remain the most dependable force in the struggle to end exploitation and oppression.

I pay tribute, I pay tribute to the many religious communities who carried the campaign for justice forward when the organisations of our people were silenced.

I greet the traditional leaders of our country. Many among you continue to walk in the footsteps of great heroes, like Hintsa and Sekhukune.

I pay tribute to the endless heroism of the youth. You, the young lions, you, the young lions, have energised our entire struggle.

I pay tribute to the mothers and wives and sisters of our nation. You are the rock-hard foundation of our struggle. Apartheid has inflicted more pain on you than on anyone else.

On this occasion, we thank the world, we thank the world community for their great contribution to the anti-apartheid struggle. Without your support, our struggle would not have reached this advanced stage. The sacrifice of the front line states will be remembered by South Africans forever.

My salutations will be incomplete without expressing my deep appreciation for the strength given to me during my long and lonely years in prison by my beloved wife and family. I am convinced that your pain and suffering was far greater than my own.

Before I go any further, I wish to make the point that I intend making only a few preliminary comments at this stage. I will make a more complete statement only after I have had the opportunity to consult with my comrades.

Today, the majority of South Africans, black and white, recognise that apartheid has no future. It has to be ended by our own decisive mass action in order to build peace and security. The mass campaigns of defiance, and other actions of our organisations and people, can only culminate in the establishment of democracy.

The apartheid destruction on our subcontinent is incalculable. The fabric of family life of millions of my people has been shattered. Millions are homeless and unemployed. Our economy, our economy lies in ruins and our people are embroiled in political strife.

Our resort to the armed struggle in 1960, with the formation of the military wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe, was a purely defensive action against the violence of apartheid.

The factors which necessitated the armed struggle still exist today. We have no option but to continue. We express the hope that a climate conducive to a negotiated settlement would be created soon so that there may no longer be the need for the armed struggle.

I am a loyal and disciplined member of the African National Congress, I am therefore, in full agreement with all of its objectives, strategies, and tactics. The need to unite the people of our country is as important a task now as it always has been. No individual leader is able to take on these enormous tasks on his own.

It is our task as leaders to place our views before our organisation and to allow the democratic structures to decide on the way forward. On the question of democratic practice, I feel duty bound to make the point that a leader of the movement is the person who has been democratically elected at a national conference. This is the principle which must be upheld without any exception.

Today, I wish to report to you that my talks with the government have been aimed at normalising the political situation in the country. We have not as yet begun discussing the basic demands of the struggle. I wish to stress that I myself have had no time to enter into negotiations about the future of our country, except to insist on a meeting between the ANC and the government.

Mr De Klerk has gone further than any other Nationalist President in taking real steps to normalise the situation.

However, there are further steps as outlined in the Harare Declaration that have to be met before negotiations on the basic demands of our people can begin.

I reiterate our call for inter alia, the immediate ending of the state of emergency and the freeing of all, and not only some, political prisoners.

Only such a normalised situation which allows for free political activities can allow us to consult our people in order to obtain a mandate.

The people need to be consulted on who will negotiate and on the content of such negotiations. Negotiations cannot take place above the heads or behind the backs of our people.

It is our belief that the future of our country can only be determined by a body which is democratically elected on a non-racial basis.

Negotiations on the dismantling of apartheid will have to address the overwhelming demands of our people for a democratic, non-racial, and unitary South Africa.

There must be an end to white monopoly on political power, and a fundamental restructuring of our political and economic systems to ensure that the inequalities of apartheid are addressed and our society thoroughly democratised.

It must be added that Mr De Klerk himself is a man of integrity, who is acutely aware of the dangers of a public figure not honouring his undertakings.

But as an organisation we based our policy and strategy on the harsh reality we are faced with. And this reality is that we are still suffering under the policies of the Nationalist government. Our struggle has reached a decisive moment. We call on our people to seize this moment so that the process towards democracy is rapid and uninterrupted.

We have waited too long for our freedom. We can no longer wait. Now is the time to intensify the struggle on all fronts. To relax our efforts now would be a mistake which generations to come will not be able to forgive.

The sight of freedom looming on the horizon should encourage us to redouble our efforts. It is only through disciplined mass action that our victory can be assured.

We call on our white compatriots to join us in the shaping of a new South Africa. The freedom movement is a political home for you too. We call on the international community to continue the campaign to isolate the apartheid regime.

To lift sanctions now would be to run the risk of aborting the process towards the complete eradication of apartheid. Our march to freedom is irreversible. We must not allow fear to stand in our way.

Universal suffrage on a common voters’ role in united democratic and non-racial South Africa is the only way to peace and racial harmony.

In conclusion, I wish to quote my own words during my trial in 1964. They are as true today as they were then. I quote:

“I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

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The Local Books to Look Forward to in 2015 (Jan – June)

 
This year holds a lot in store for fans of South African fiction and non-fiction. Take a look at our selection of the books to look out for in the first half of 2015.

On the fiction side, there are new books from Ivan Vladislavić, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Niq Mhlongo, Finuala Dowling, Christopher Hope and Sifiso Mzobe, to name just a few, as well as a number of promising debut novels.

As for non-fiction, Alex Eliseev’s eagerly anticipated book on the Betty Ketani Murder is out in March, there is a collection of letters by Dora Taylor, Lilian Ngoyi and Bessie Head, edited by MJ Daymond, as well as David Attwell’s Face to Face with Time: JM Coetzee and the Life of Writing.

If you think we’ve left something out, feel free to let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Without further ado, have a look at our list:

Note: Covers are subject to change, and information was provided by the publishers

JANUARY

Hunger Eats a ManHunger Eats a Man, by Nkosinathi Sithole
Penguin Books
Fiction

When Father Gumede, known as Priest, loses his job as a farmhand, he realises he can’t afford to love his neighbour as he does himself. Despondent and enraged, Priest cuts off all ties to the church and politics, determined to make a living – at whatever cost.

It will take a strange story written by his son Sandile – a comical, terrifying and prophetic tale in which the downtrodden rise up to march on the wealth of a neighbouring suburb – to show Priest the hope and humanity inherent in the human spirit.

Beautifully poetic, funny and highly relevant, Nkosinathi Sithole’s debut novel highlights the ongoing plight of many rural South Africans and the power of a community working together to bring about change.

Burning Table MountainBurning Table Mountain, by Simon Pooley
UCT Press
Non-fiction

In January 2000, two wildfires torched more than 8 000 ha of the Cape Peninsula, swept through the Table Mountain National Park, and burned houses and property. There were more than 120 fires in the region on that one ‘fire-storm Sunday’.

The challenges faced in the Cape are shared by major cities and nature reserves in similar Mediterranean-type ecosystems in the USA, Australia and Mediterranean Europe. Wildfire has destroyed hundreds of thousands of hectares and killed people in Greece, Australia and the United States. It has become a global, and a local, research and management challenge.

In Burning Table Mountain the author tackles the environmental and social challenges of fire management on the wildland-urban interface of South Africa’s Cape Peninsula, where a UNESCO World Heritage Site for Nature protects the unique fynbos vegetation and incorporates the iconic Table Mountain, and abuts the suburbs, townships and informal settlements of South Africa’s parliamentary capital.

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The Victoria Mxenge Housing ProjectThe Victoria Mxenge Housing Project, by Salma Ismail
UCT Press
Non-fiction

At the beginning of South Africa’s democratic change, in 1994, the Victoria Mxenge Housing Project was founded by a group of 12 women who lived in shacks on the barren outskirts of Cape Town. These women had come from rural areas and were poor, vulnerable and semi-literate. Yet they learned how to build, negotiate with the government and NGOs, architects and building experts, and form alliances with homeless social movements locally and internationally, in India and Brazil. The desolate piece of land they occupied is now a thriving, sustainable community of more than 5 000 houses.

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Race, Class and PowerRace, Class and Power: Harold Wolpe and the Radical Critique of Apartheid, by Steven Friedman
UKZN Press
Non-fiction

Harold Wolpe was arguably the most influential theorist of this generation. His writing played a major role in a revolution in thought and his celebrated escape from prison in the 1960s made him a symbol of alternative action.

Race, Class and Power clearly and insightfully examines Wolpe’s work in the political, intellectual and social contexts in which it was developed and to which it gave form. Drawing on interviews with those he worked with, disagreed with and inspired, the book also maps his influence on ideas and the culture that emerged in anti-apartheid circles in the 1970s. Wolpe’s writing is a prism through which South African society can be viewed; this book is an intellectual biography both of Wolpe and of South Africa’s left.

Click here for an excerpt

FEBRUARY

Terra IncognitaTerra Incognita, this year’s Short Story Day Africa anthology
Modjaji Books
Fiction (Short Stories)

Diane Awerbuck was announced as this year’s Short Story Day Africa winner, for her short story “Leatherman”, which judges Richard de Nooy, Samuel Kolawole and Jared Shurin called “dark, twisted and visceral”. You can read the full story here.

In second place was “Ape Shit” by Sylvia Schlettwein (Namibia), third was “In the Water” by Kerstin Hall (South Africa) and an Honourable Mention was given out for “The Corpse” by Sese Yane (Kenya).

Read more about the design of the cover on Short Story Day Africa’s Books LIVE blog.

Love in the Time of ContemptLove in the Time of Contempt: Consolations for Parents of Teenagers, by Joanne Fedler
Jacana Media
Non-fiction

Joanne Fedler is an internationally bestselling author of eight books including When Hungry, Eat. Her books have sold over 600 000 copies worldwide. She graduated from Yale with a Masters of Law, is an ex-women’s rights advocate, law lecturer, and was once made Asshole of the Month by Hustler magazine for her work against violence pornography. She is an inspirational speaker and writing mentor and takes women on writing retreats and adventures. She writes for various magazines and newspapers. Joanne was born in South Africa and now lives in Sydney.

Click here for an excerpt

Showdown at the Red LionShowdown at the Red Lion: The Life and Times of Jack McLoughlin, 1859–1910, by Charles van Onselen
Jonathan Ball
Non-fiction

Johannesburg was – and is – the Frontier of Money. Within months of its founding, the mining camp was host to organised crime: the African ‘Regiment of the Hills’ and ‘Irish Brigade’ bandits. Bars, brothels, boarding houses and hotels oozed testosterone and violence, and the use of fists and guns was commonplace. Beyond the chaos were clear signs of another struggle, one to maintain control, honour and order within the emerging male and mining dominated culture. In the underworld, the dictum of ‘honour among thieves’, as well as a hatred of informers, testified to attempts at self-regulation. A ‘real man’ did not take advantage of an opponent by employing underhand tactics. It had to be a ‘fair fight’ if a man was to be respected.

This was the world that ‘One-armed Jack’ McLoughlin – brigand, soldier, sailor, mercenary, burglar, highwayman and safe-cracker – entered in the early 1890s to become Johannesburg’s most infamous ‘Irish’ anti-hero and social bandit. McLoughlin’s infatuation with George Stevenson prompted him to recruit the young Englishman into his gang of safe-crackers but ‘Stevo’ was a man with a past and primed for personal and professional betrayal. It was a deadly mixture. Honour could only be retrieved through a Showdown at the Red Lion.

In 1995, Van Onselen’s biography of the life and times of Kas Maine, a black sharecropper, The Seed is Mine, won the Alan Paton Prize.

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nullWhat Will People Say, by Rehana Rossouw
Jacana Media
Fiction

What Will People Say tells the story of the Fourie family, residents of Hanover Park in the Cape Flats during the height of the struggle era.

Rehana Rossouw was born in Cape Town, but lives in Johannesburg. She has been a journalist for three decades and has also taught journalism and creative writing. She has a Master’s in Creative Writing from Wits University.
 
 
 
 
BeastkeeperBeastkeeper, by Cat Hellisen
Henry Holt & Company, Inc. (US)
Fiction (Young Adult)

The latest novel from one of South Africa’s top fantasy exports, Cat Hellisen, author of When the Sea is Rising Red and House of Sand and Secrets. Beastkeeper is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and has been getting some great reviews overseas.
 
 
 
 
 
 
WastedWasted, by Mark Winkler
Kwela
Fiction

Winkler’s first novel, An Exceptionally Simple Theory (of Absolutely Everything), was was published in early 2013.

Wasted is described as “a pop culture Crime and Punishment set in a dark and twisted version of Cape Town – a novel that takes the reader into the very heart of what it is to be human”.

Click here for more
 
 

The Shadow of the HummingbirdThe Shadow of the Hummingbird, by Athol Fugard
Human & Rousseau
Fiction (Drama)

In The Shadow of the Hummingbird, Fugard explores the loss of innocence and a sense of wonder at the fleeting beauty of the world. The play involves Oupa and his grandson Boba, played out against the grandfather’s troubled relationship with his son.

The Shadow of the Hummingbird has strong autobiographical roots: Like Fugard, Oupa is a South African living in California.

First performed at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, USA, the play was staged in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Bloemfontein in 2014. Fugard returned to the stage for the the first time in 15 years to play the role of Oupa.

Click here for more
 
A Slim Green SilenceA Slim, Green Silence, by Beverley Rycroft
Umuzi
Fiction

The debut novel from Beverley Rycroft, whose first collection of poems, Missing, took the 2012 Ingrid Jonker Prize.

A Slim, Green Silence is a beautifully crafted novel, set in a small South African town in 1995.
 
 
 
 
The Space Between the Space Between, John HuntThe Space Between the Space Between, by John Hunt
Umuzi
Fiction

Hunt is the co-founder of the advertising agency network TBWA\Hunt Lascaris and is currently Worldwide Creative Director of TBWA. The Space Between the Space Between is and entertaining, wise novel that contemplates loss and healing.

Click here for an excerpt
 
 
 
 
nullWater stories, edited by Mary Lange
Unisa Press
Non-fiction

When Mary Lange asked a group of Upington women: “What do you know about the Water Snake?”, this triggered a set of lyrical short stories, in an attempt to capture the myth of the water snake.

The women’s response to Lange’s question formed the basis for the Water Stories, here published with a set of original drawings by regional artist Betta Steyn.
 

MARCH

What About MeeraWhat About Meera, by ZP Dala
Umuzi
Fiction

ZP Dala is a freelance writer who has degrees in physiotherapy and psychology. Her writing has been published in a number of print publications and her short stories have received several awards. She has lived and worked in Dublin, Ireland, and currently lives in Durban, where she is a psychologist at a school for autistic children.

What About Meera is the story of a woman who flees a toxic marriage in South Africa, and starts a new life in Dublin. But she begins a doomed relationship, which uncovers frightening truths about her childhood in rural KwaZulu-Natal.

Dala’s debut novel evokes the streets of the Irish capital and the Indian community of Tongaat in rich detail.

nullThe Chameleon House, by Melissa de Villiers
Modjaji Books
Fiction (Short Stories)

In her finely woven collection of stories – spanning South Africa, London and Singapore – Melissa de Villiers deftly probes the ambiguities of different kinds of love and empathy as she brings a variety of people closer together in unexpected ways.

De Villiers was born in Grahamstown and is a graduate of Rhodes University. She earned a Master of Arts Degree from Birkbeck, University of London, and divides her time between South Africa and Singapore.

The Chameleon House is De Villiers’ debut collection, and shows off her powerfully condensed, poetic style.

nullEveryday Matters: Selected Letters of Dora Taylor, Lilian Ngoyi and Bessie Head, edited by MJ Daymond
Jacana Media
Non-fiction

Everyday Matters brings together the previously unpublished letters of Lilian Ngoyi, Bessie Head and Dora Taylor, each of whom made vital and perhaps under-appreciated contributions to the southern African struggle.

The book is edited by Margaret Daymond, Professor Emeritus in the English Department at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the author of Women Writing Africa: The Southern Region and South African Feminisms.
 
 
Witch GirlWitch Girl, by Tanvi Bush
Modjaji Books
Fiction

Witch Girl is a pacy crime thriller that juggles the past and the present, with a focus on a unique blend of issues such as witchcraft, Aids activism and religious extremism.

In a Zambia that is experiencing the disintegration of family units as HIV/Aids takes hold, the Blood of Christ Church makes its mark by distributing a film entitled Witch Children, a film about child demonisation, where children feed off their parents. 11-year-old Luse’s father and mother are both HIV-positive activists, living healthy, happy lives. But once the family becomes involved with the Blood of Christ Church, everything changes.

Tanvi Bush grew up in Lusaka, Zambia, and studied English and Theatre at Exeter University in the UK. She was the producer of the Oscar-nominated documentary Choka- Get Lost! (2001), which centred around a gang of young HIV/Aids orphans living on the streets of Lusaka. In 2010 she completed an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and is working on her PhD.

The Thirstland Trek (English translation of Die Dorslandtrek), by Nicol Stassen
Protea Boekhuis
Non-fiction

Nicol Stassen has a bachelor’s degree in Languages, a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering and a doctorate in History. He is a research fellow at the University of Pretoria. His previous publications are William Chapman: Reminiscenses (2010) and Afrikaners in Angola, 1928-1975 (2011). The Thirstland Trek features photographs never published before.

The Thirstland Trek focuses on the treks that left the Transvaal in the 1870s, and settled at Humpata on the Hufla highlands in the Portuguese colony of Angola.

The Last Road TripThe Last Road Trip, Gareth Crocker
Penguin
Fiction

The Last Road Trip is Gareth Crocker’s fifth novel, coming after Finding Jack, Journey from Darkness, Never Let Go and King.

The Last Road Trip follows the story of four aging friends who embark on a thousand-mile road trip, which takes them from the furthest corner of the Kruger National Park to the blazing stars of Sutherland.
 
 

The Dream HouseThe Dream House, by Craig Higginson
Pan Macmillan
Fiction

Craig Higginson’s previous novels include Last Summer and the award-winning The Landscape Painter, and he has written a number of plays, including Dream of the Dog, The Girl in the Yellow Dress, The Jungle Book and Little Foot. He has two new plays due to be published and produced in 2015.

The Dream House is set in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, and written with dark wit, a stark poetic style and extraordinary tenderness.

In one of her last recommendations, Nadine Gordimer said: “The Dream House is an open and frank exploration of human life that resonates beyond race. Looksmart is a welcome new kind of character in the constantly evolving reality of African literature.”

The FetchThe Fetch, by Finuala Dowling
Kwela
Fiction

Poet and creative writing teacher Finuala Dowling is the author of three volumes of poetry, I Flying, which won the Ingrid Jonker Prize, Doo-Wop Girls of the Universe, which was joint winner of the Sanlam Prize for poetry, Notes from the Dementia Ward, which won the Olive Schreiner Prize.

Her first novel was What Poets Need, followed by Flyleaf and Homemaking for the Down-at-heart. The Fetch takes place in the coastal settlement of Slangkop, near Cape Town, an eccentric seaside community where the inhabitants orbit around a mercurial Chas Fawkes, who holds court at his legendary and increasingly more emotionally complex parties.
 
 
APRIL

Facet to Face with TimeFace to Face with Time: JM Coetzee and the Life of Writing, by David Attwell
Jacana Media (local rights)
Non-fiction

JM Coetzee and the Life of Writing is the result of David Attwell’s study of the author’s papers housed at the Ransom Centre of the University of Texas at Austin. Attwell describes Coetzee’s often-surprising method of writing and development, and provides a behind-the-scenes view of Disgrace, Waiting for the Barbarians and Life & Times of Michael K.

Whereas JC Kannemeyer’s 2011 biography (JM Coetzee; A Life in Writing) concentrates on Coetzee’s life, Attwell focuses on the relationship between the work and the author, as it emerges from the manuscripts and the published novels.

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101 Detectives101 Detectives, by Ivan Vladislavić
Umuzi
Short Stories

The highly anticipated new book from Ivan Vladislavić, after a three-year hiatus, 101 Detectives is a collection of new short stories.

In this new collection, Vladislavić invites readers to do some detective work of their own. Each story can be read as just that – a story – or you can dig a little deeper. Take a closer look, examine the tale from all angles, and consider the clues and patterns concealed within.

Whether mourning a mother’s loss or tracing a translator’s onstage breakdown, whether skewering extreme marketing techniques or constructing dystopian parallel universes, Vladislavić’s pitch-perfect inquisitions will make you question your own language – how it defines you, and how it undoes you. Each story adds richly to the book’s overall logic, resonance and coherence, showcasing a writer at the height of his powers of wit and evocation.

the raftThe Raft, by Fred Strydom
Umuzi
Fiction

Fred Strydom’s debut novel is a unique addition to the growing body of South African speculative fiction.

Set in a world where people have lost their memories, The Raft is the story of Kayle Jenner, who has recurring visions of a mysterious boy he thinks may have been his son. Under the constraints of an oppressive regime, Jenner undertakes an epic voyage to find him.

Strydom studied Film and Media at the University of Cape Town and was a member of the Cape Comedy Collective. He has published short stories and currently works as a radio and television writer and producer in Johannesburg.

niq mhlongoAffluenza, by Niq Mhlongo
Kwela
Fiction

Niq Mhlongo returns with a collection of short stories that cover the span of our democracy – the euphoria of 1994, the Aids pandemic, xenophobia, the madness of Marikana and the Zuma presidency. The stories have been published to critical acclaim in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the USA but remain largely unknown in South Africa.

Affluenza is Mhlongo’s take on the madness of the last 20 years.

Mhlongo is the author of three novels – Dog Eat Dog, After Tears and Way Back Home – and his work has been translated into Spanish, Italian, French and German.

Thomas MofoloChaka, by Thomas Mofolo
Kwela Classics
Fiction

Chaka by Thomas Mofolo was the first work of literature to focus on the great Zulu leader Shaka. Originally written in Sesotho in 1909 (though only published in 1925), it was an instant hit and quickly became Mofolo’s most highly regarded work. It was translated into English in 1931.

Mofolo’s Chaka was named one of the 12 best works of African literature of the 20th century by a panel organized by the late academic and writer Ali Mazrui. It has been published in French, German and Afrikaans. A second, updated English translation was commissioned in 1980. This translation is by Daniel P Kunene, Professor Emeritus in the Department of African Languages and Literature at the University of Wisconsin.

HJ GolakaiThe Score, by HJ Golakai
Kwela
Fiction

Sex, drugs and BEE: The Score is the follow-up to HJ Golakai’s internationally acclaimed The Lazarus Effect.

The novel tells the story of investigative reporter Voinjama Johnson, aka Vee, who has been banished to Oudtshoorn, with her ever-faithful sidekick Chloe. But they are barely checked into their lodge when the first body is discovered …
 
 
 
Selby MvusiSelby Mvusi: To fly with the north bird south, by Elza Miles
Unisa Press
Non-fiction

Selby Mvusi: To fly with the north bird south focuses on the life and work of Selby Mvusi; an inimitable painter, sculptor, printmaker, poet and academic. Mvusi, a visionary ahead of his time, was little known in South Africa and spent much of his short life on foreign shores.

The author is Elza Miles, a renowned art historian, who weaves this unique story with understanding, intelligence and a distinctively delicate touch.

Mvusi’s lecture notes are included on the accompanying CD.

Miles was awarded the Recht Malan Prize and the Old Mutual Award for her monograph on Ernest Mancoba, Lifeline out of Africa (Human & Rousseau, 1994).

casey b dolanUnnatural Relations, by Casey B Dolan
Kwela
Fiction

Casey B Dolan is an award-winning actress, TV presenter, radio personality and voiceover artist. She is the author of an autobiography, An Appetite for Peas: On Fame, Blame and Whatsisname, and a novel, When the Bough Breaks. Paige Nick says Dolan “may just be the South African Jodi Picoult”.

Unnatural Relations is the story of a dark relationship between a forensic psychiatrist and her patient, which ends in murder …
 
 
MAY

nullBirthmark: A Hologram, by Stephen Clingman
Jacana Media
Non-fiction (Memoir)

When Stephen Clingman was two years old, he underwent an operation to remove a birthmark under his right eye. But the operation went wrong, the birthmark returned, in a somewhat altered form, and his vision was affected too. In Birthmark, these physical traits become a motif of memory, as Clingman considers how the markings of birth can alter the mind – especially in a South African context.

Ivan Vladislavić calls Birthmark “a profound reflection on vision and identity”, and a “thoughtful, unconventional memoir that will change the reader’s perspective too”.

Clingman was born in South Africa, and studied at Wits and Oxford. He is Professor of English and Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Institute at the University of Massachusetts, where he has taught since 1989.
 

henrietta rose-innes green lionGreen Lion, by Henrietta Rose-Innes
Umuzi
Fiction

Green Lion is the much anticipated third novel from Henrietta Rose-Innes, after Shark’s Egg, The Rock Alphabet and Nineveh.

Rose-Innes said of her new book: “The book is also an exploration of human relationships with the natural world, even more explicitly so than Nineveh. At the heart of the book is the figure of a black-maned lion, one of vanished sub-species that used to be common in the Cape. It’s a book about extinctions, and loss, and the impossibiity of bringing things back from oblivion; and also about the mythic importance of animals in human lives.”

Green Lion will be launched at the Franschhoek Literary Festival in May.

achille mbembeOn the Postcolony, by Achille Mbembe
Wits University Press
Non-fiction

First published in 2001, Achille Mbembe’s landmark book, On the Postcolony continues to renew our understanding of power and subjectivity in Africa. This edition has been updated with a new preface by the author.

In a series of provocative essays, Mbembe contests diehard Africanist and nativist perspectives as well as some of the key assumptions of postcolonial theory.
 
 
john kaniMissing, by John Kani
Wits University Press
Fiction (Drama)

Playscript of the well-known actor and playwright’s latest play. It follows his very successful script – Nothing but the Truth (Wits University Press).

Missing tells the story of an exiled comrade who returns to South Africa with his Swedish wife and engaged daughter. Expecting to take up an illustrious new career in the newly democratic government, he finds an unexpected rival in one of his closest ex-comrades. The play raises several important issues faced by those who went into exile and then came home to take up a new life in a democratic South Africa.

Christopher Hope JimfishJimfish, by Christopher Hope
Penguin Books
Fiction

Christopher Hope is the author of 10 novels and one collection of short stories, including Kruger’s Alp, which won the Whitbread Prize for Fiction; Serenity House, which was shortlisted for the 1992 Booker Prize; and My Mother’s Lovers, published by Atlantic Books in 2006 to great acclaim. He is also a poet, a playwright and author of the celebrated memoir White Boy Running (1988).

Jimfish is set in the 1980s, when a small man is pulled up out of the Indian Ocean in Port Pallid, claiming to have been kidnapped as a baby. The police can’t decide what race to allocate him, and decide to hold off their decision until he is 18. So begins the odyssey of Jimfish, a South African Everyman, who defies the usual classification of race that defines the rainbow nation.
 
power play mike nicolPower Play, by Mike Nicol
Umuzi
Fiction

Power Play is the latest novel from internationally acclaimed crime writer Mike Nicol, author of The Revenge Trilogy and Of Cops & Robbers.

Nicol’s new book involves high-profile Chinese businessmen, Cape Town ganglords, the lucrative business of abalone poaching, and Krista Bishop, who runs a security agency, for women only.

Power Play will be published in Afrikaans as Woes.

eugene de kock bookEugene de Kock: Assassin of the State, by Anemari Jansen
Tafelberg
Non-fiction

Eugene de Kock: Assassin of the State is the first comprehensive investigation into the life of former operative Eugene de Kock. It includes innumerable hours of in-depth conversations with De Kock in prison, and is based on his diaries, prison writings and psychological reports. The author is Anemari Jansen, whose novel Glipstroom was published last year. She was unexpectedly introduced to De Kock in 2011 at Pretoria Central, and was immediately fascinated by “the man with the soft voice and well-groomed hands”, well aware that those were the very hands that had murdered several people. Jansen wanted to know how this intelligent, well-read individual could be the “monster” from the Vlakplaas death squad, the man the media dubbed Prime Evil. The book was written with De Kock’s full cooperation and approval.

The book will be available in Afrikaans, as Eugene de Kock: Sluipmoordenaar van die staat, from March.

Taking to the Witness Stand, by Jestina Mukoko
KMM Review Publishing
Non-fiction

Jestina Mukoko is a former Zimbabwean broadcast journalist turned a human rights activist, who was incarcerated in 2008 and “disappeared” by the Zimbabwe government.

Told through flashbacks intertwined with information related to her childhood, her family and her work at the Zimbabwe Peace Project, Mukoko’s recollections give a birds-eye view of the social, economic and political situation during one of the most turbulent and repressive times in Zimbabwe’s history.
 

ingrid winterbachIt Might Get Loud, by Ingrid Winterbach
Human & Rousseau
Fiction

It Might Get Loud is the English translation of Die aanspraak van lewende wesens, which won the WA Hofmeyr Prize, Hertzog Prize for prose, NB-Uitgewers Groot Romankompetisie, M-Net Prize, the Hertzog Prize and the University of Johannesburg Prize.
 
 
 
 

nullBest White and Other Anxious Delusions, by Rebecca Davis
Pan Macmillan
Non-fiction

“But the pesky thing about history is that you can’t just take it off and hang it up, like a coat. In a generation’s time, maybe being a Best White will seem as outdated and irrelevant a performance as someone who arrives at work on rollerblades. Till then, you’ll find us checking our privilege. And then checking to make sure everyone’s noticed.” – From Best White and Other Anxious Delusions

Rebecca Davis is described by ZA NEWS as “one of the funniest women writing in South Africa today”, and in Best White she offers advice on life’s tricky issues; discusses the perils of being a “Best White”; laments the fact that society does not have a universally adopted form of greeting, such as the high-five; explores the intricacies of social media and Internet dating; considers the future of reading; and tackles a range of controversial topics in between.
 

nullThis One Time, by Alex van Tonder
Pan Macmillan
Fiction

“Alex van Tonder has a straight razor on the pulse of pop culture. Scathing, witty and incisive.” – Lauren Beukes

Van Tonder lives and works in Cape Town, and is known for her satirical experiments in blogging, including My Branded Life and Cape Town Girl. This One Time is her debut novel.

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JUNE

sifiso mzobe durban decemberDurban December, by Sifiso Mzobe
Kwela
Fiction

Durban December is the follow up Sifiso Mzobe’s critically acclaimed debut Young Blood, which won the South African Literary Award (SALA) for a first-time author, the Herman Charles Bosman Prize for English Literature, the Sunday Times Fiction Prize, as well as the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature.

Durban December opens with a homeless man discovering a body on a train line in Umlazi, an event which ruins seasoned police officer Jabu’s evening. But when it turns out to be two bodies, one of them still alive, the case becomes more than even he can handle.

nullCapitalist Crusader: Fighting poverty through economic growth, by Herman Mashaba, with Isabella Morris

South Africa’s economic trajectory is in trouble – in Capitalist Crusader Herman Mashaba suggests concrete macroeconomic solutions to SA’s poverty crisis.

Capitalist Crusader follows on from the bestselling Black Like You, combining biography, politics and business with a view to changing South Africa’s fortunes.

“When I had to give up my university studies 34 years ago I was so angry that I wanted to leave South Africa, get military training and an AK47, and come back to kill evil white people … I’m just as angry now as I feel my economic freedom is under threat, but I’m staying to fight for what I believe in” – Mashaba.
 

Chants of Freedom: Poems Written in Exile, by Mathews Phosa

Chants of Freedom is Mathews Phosa’s first English poetry anthology (he published the Afrikaans volume Deur die oog van ’n naald in 1999). Mostly written while in exile as the commander of an MK unit in Maputo, Mozambique, Phosa’s poems addresse themes such as oppression, violence, death and hatred, and recalls the atrocities and tragedies of the migrant-labour system, the murder of innocent children, the detentions without trial, the bannings and the state-sanctioned executions that characterised the apartheid era.

The publication of Chants of Freedom will coincide with the 60-year anniversary of the Freedom Charter.

MORE HIGHLIGHTS

The animated book cover for Sarah Lotz’s new thriller, Day Four, was recently revealed (see it here). The book is due to be released in the United Kingdom by Hodder & Stoughton in May 2015, and in South African in late June/early July.

The new Short Sharp Stories anthology, Incredible Journey, should be out mid-year.

Kwela will be publishing a new novel from Zakes Mda in August, entitled Little Suns.

Cold Case Confession: Unravelling the Betty Ketani Murder, by Alex Eliseev, will be out in August.

The debut collection of poetry by UK-based Eliza Kentridge (sister of the more famous William) called Sign Poems and a third collection of poems by award-winning writer and journalist Arja Salafranca, called Beyond Touch, will be published by Modjaji Books.


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Mvelase Peppetta Reviews The Arrogance of Power by Xolela Mangcu

The Arrogance of PowerVerdict: carrot

What I found most fascinating in this collection was reading up on the early-Mbeki years.

I knew the facts of that period, but Mangcu’s collection – as it does throughout – gave a jolt to the memory of what that time was actually like. We now know what an unmitigated disaster Mbeki’s presidency ultimately was for South Africa. But through Mangcu’s columns from that time you remember how hopeful he, and South Africans in general, were at the start of his presidency.

Book Details


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J Brooks Spector Reviews Why States Recover by Greg Mills

Why States Recover: Changing Walking Societies into Winning Nations – from  Afghanistan to ZimbabweVerdict: carrot

In Why States Recover, Mills has largely tried to keep theoretical discussions about development and politics deep in the background in trying to weave together these two strands – the political and economic. Rather, he has drawn upon nearly thirty case studies – from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe – from around the world. These include states that started well, but then faltered badly like Argentina, as well as places like the Congo where virtually nothing has gone well since its independence in 1960.

Book Details

  • Why States Recover: Changing Walking Societies into Winning Nations – from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe by Greg Mills
    EAN: 9781770103252
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!


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Shaun de Waal Reviews Books on Conflict: Western Empires, War and South Africa: The Present as History

Western Empires: Christianity, and the Inequalities Between the West and the Rest 1500 – 2010WarSouth Africa: The Present as History

Verdict: two carrots and a stick

Morris’s earlier book, Why the West Rules – for Now, was much more compelling than War: What Is It Good for? He is a readable writer, with a talent for catchy conceptual formulations and neat summations, but in this book his argument often feels strained and his conclusions questionable. Sampie Terreblanche would certainly dispute them, for his Western Empires is a sustained (600 pages) account of how modern empires formed what Immanuel Wallerstein calls the present “world system”. The West certainly benefited from the exploitation of its colonies, and continues to benefit, but only the coldest of gross domestic product-per-capita statistics show a long-term improvement in the lives of the exploited.

Book Details

  • Western Empires: Christianity, and the Inequalities Between the West and the Rest 1500 – 2010 by Sampie Terreblanche
    EAN: 9780143539070
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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