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'I was made in Coffee Bay. Right there on the beach, in the sand.'
From the opening lines, we are drawn in and engrossed by this startling memoir of a singular childhood. Suzan is adopted as a newborn in the late 1960s into a seemingly loving and welcoming family living in Pietermaritzburg. But Suzan is set on a collision course with, most particularly, her adoptive mother, and society, from her very beginning. Suzan's relationship with her mother is fraught with drama, which veers over into a level of emotional abuse and needless cruelty that is shocking.
At the age of thirteen, Suzan is sent to a place of safety as a ward of the state, effectively 'orphaning' her. From there, she spirals out of control – fighting to survive in a world of other neglected, abandoned and abused children. She becomes a 'runner', escaping at every opportunity from her various places of confinement, grabbing her schooling in snatches, living on the edges of a drug and prostitution underworld, finding love wherever she can.
Suzan’s young life was the stuff of movies, but it is her writing, in a voice that is unforgettable and true, that transforms her memories into something magical rarely matched in South African literature. A new classic.
Enemy Of The People is the first definitive account of Zuma’s catastrophic misrule, offering eyewitness descriptions and cogent analysis of how South Africa was brought to its knees – and how a nation fought back.
When Jacob Zuma took over the leadership of the ANC one muggy Polokwane evening in December 2007, he inherited a country where GDP was growing by more than 6% per annum, a party enjoying the support of two-thirds of the electorate, and a unified tripartite alliance. Today, South Africa is caught in the grip of a patronage network, the economy is floundering and the ANC is staring down the barrel of a defeat at the 2019 general elections. How did we get here?
Zuma first brought to heel his party, Africa’s oldest and most revered liberation movement, subduing and isolating dissidents associated with his predecessor Thabo Mbeki. Then saw the emergence of the tenderpreneur and those attempting to capture the state, as well as a network of family, friends and business associates that has become so deeply embedded that it has, in effect, replaced many parts of government. Zuma opened up the state to industrial-scale levels of corruption, causing irreparable damage to state enterprises, institutions of democracy, and the ANC itself.
But it hasn’t all gone Zuma’s way. Former allies have peeled away. A new era of activism has arisen and outspoken civil servants have stepped forward to join a cross-section of civil society and a robust media. As a divided ANC square off for the elective conference in December, where there is everything to gain or to lose, award-winning journalists Adriaan Basson and Pieter du Toit offer a brilliant and up-to-date account of the Zuma era.
In 1977, RW Johnson’s best-selling How Long Will South Africa Survive? provided a controversial and highly original analysis of the survival prospects of apartheid. Now, after more than twenty years of ANC rule, he believes the situation has become so critical that the question must be posed again.
‘The big question about ANC rule’, he writes, ‘is whether African nationalism would be able to cope with the challenges of running a modern industrial economy. Twenty years of ANC rule have shown conclusively that the party is hopelessly ill-equipped for this task. Indeed, everything suggests that South Africa under the ANC is fast slipping backward and that even the survival of South Africa as a unitary state cannot be taken for granted. The fundamental reason why the question of regime change has to be posed is that it is now clear that South Africa can either choose to have an ANC government or it can have a modern industrial economy. It cannot have both.’
Johnson’s analysis is strikingly original and cogently argued. He has for several decades now been the senior international commentator on South African affairs, known for his lucid analysis and complete lack of deference towards the conventional wisdom.
There are no villains here. Award-winning journalist Paul McNally finds corrupt cops, drug dealers, vigilante residents, addicts, torturers, murderers and cops partnered with drug dealers. But no villains.
Raymond is a shop owner on Ontdekkers Road, in Johannesburg, who takes a baseball bat to the dealers when they break his rules. He systematically records in his notebook the police officers who come – all day, every day – to collect their bribe money from the dealers, and is looking for someone to trust. Khaba is a middle-aged police officer who wants a quiet life but whose demons will not leave him in peace. He is trying to regain his trust in what he once regarded as an honourable profession. Wendy is a petite, ageing police reservist who can handle an R5 rifle with confidence, but not the sadness that accompanies her in her daily life – the loss of her police officer husband, brutally murdered by a drug lord, and the addiction that has her adult son in its grip. She is looking for respect and affirmation and for her own life to have meaning.
Through different paths, the lives of Raymond, Khaba and Wendy intersect on the street as their attention is focused on the current power couple – a drug dealer named Obi and Lerato, a police officer. Seemingly untouchable, Obi and Lerato terrorise Ontdekkers, and in the process upset the balance of this already lawless world.
Who are these Guptas who are so powerful, they’re distributing cabinet posts like matrons handing out condoms at a brothel? Who do Americans think they are, accusing Trevor Noah of ‘stealing’ a joke from one of their comedians? Is Sizakele MaKhumalo Zuma’s spaza shop a National Key Point?
In #ZuptasMustFall, And Other Rants, Fred Khumalo runs riot, contemplating the pressing issues that continue to confound, infuriate and exasperate the nation – or to sink it into further controversy. Covering a wide range of topics, including politics, history, current events and celebrity gossip, this compilation of recent and new writings contains Khumalo’s trademark blend of humour and shrewd analysis, as well as his treatment of everyday issues from a uniquely South African perspective.
This is an entertaining collection of thoughts from one of the country’s most seasoned journalists, offering many questions, and tongue-in-cheek answers, on who we are as a nation, where we are going, and how we compare to the rest of the world.
Exit! is the story of Grizelda Grootboom life of prostitution and her ultimate escape from it all.
Grizelda’s life was dramatically changed when she was gang raped at the age of nine by teenagers in her township. Her story starts there. It is a story about the cycle of poverty, family abandonment, dislocation and survival in the streets of Cape Town. She reveals the seedy and often demonised life of a prostitute; she describes the clubs and beds of the prostitution and drug industry over a twelve-year period.
She moves to Johannesburg at the age of 18 in an attempt to start a new life, but instead she is trafficked on arrival in Yeoville, tied in a room for two weeks and forced to work as a sex slave. What follows is a life of living hand-to-mouth, from one street corner to another, being pimped, being taught how to strip, and acquiring and using a variety of drugs – from buttons, ecstasy and cannabis to cocaine – to sustain herself. She speaks of how her prostitution gains momentum in city strip clubs and the sometimes tragic pregnancies that would follow.
Grizelda’s harrowing tale ends with reconciliation with her family, while raising her six-year-old son. In writing this story she hopes to open a window on the hidden and often misunderstood world of prostitution, thereby raising better awareness and understanding about its harms and the horrors of trafficking and prostitution of women and children, and drug abuse. She hopes to heal and to set an example for others to follow.
In 1990 two South African mothers were faced with an impossible choice, one that no mother should ever have to make. Should they surrender the child they had lovingly raised in order to get back the baby they had given birth to?
Megs Clinton-Parker and Sandy Dawkins chose nurture over nature, simply unable to give up their two-year-old sons who were switched at birth at an East Rand hospital. Instead they decided to try to make their strange relationship work, although they lived in different cities, 500km apart. And they decided to sue the South African state, whose negligence had altered the fates of two families forever. Robin Dawkins and Gavin Clinton-Parker grew up living each other’s lives, brothers-but-not-brothers, acutely aware that their mothers’ hearts were torn.
Unable to escape the consequences of the swap, Robin decided at the age of 15 that it was time to claim what was rightfully his, adding a further twist to this bitter saga.
Almost Human is the personal story of a charismatic and visionary palaeontologist, a rich and readable narrative about science, exploration, and what it means to be human.
In 2013, Wits University reasearch professor Lee Berger caught wind of a cache of bones in a hard-to-reach underground cave near Johannesburg. He put out a call around the world for collaborators – men and women small and adventurous enough to be able to squeeze through 8-inch tunnels to reach a sunless cave 40 feet underground. With this team of ‘underground astronauts’, Berger made the discovery of a lifetime: hundreds of prehistoric bones, including entire skeletons of at least 15 individuals, all perhaps two million years old. Their features combined those of known pre-hominids with those more human than anything ever before seen in prehistoric remains. Berger's team had discovered an all new species: Homo naledi.
The cave proved to be the richest pre-hominid site ever discovered, full of implications that challenge how we define ourselves as human. Did these ancestors of ours bury their dead? If so, they must have had an awareness of death, a level of self-knowledge: the very characteristic we used to define ourselves as human. Did an equally advanced species inhabit Earth with us, or before us?
Addressing these questions, Berger counters the arguments of those colleagues who have questioned his controversial interpretations and astounding finds.
Prof. Anton van Niekerk skryf oor iets waaroor daar in Afrikaans nog bitter min buite die teologie geskryf is. Hy praat openhartig oor die vrae waarmee ons worstel by die afsterf van geliefdes en verduidelik beide persepsies van die dood oor eeue heen sowel as die nuutste denkstrome. Omstrede kwessies soos bystanddood en selfdood kom ter sprake. Uiteindelik is dié boek ’n oproep om elke oomblik ten volle te leef.
Few today recognize the name Martin Niemöller, though many know his famous confession. In Then They Came For Me, Matthew Hockenos traces Niemöller's evolution from a Nazi supporter to a determined opponent of Hitler, revealing him to be a more complicated figure than previously understood.
Born into a traditionalist Prussian family, Niemöller welcomed Hitler's rise to power as an opportunity for national rebirth. Yet when the regime attempted to seize control of the Protestant Church, he helped lead the opposition and was soon arrested. After spending the war in concentration camps, Niemöller emerged a controversial figure: to his supporters he was a modern Luther, while his critics, including President Harry Truman, saw him as an unrepentant nationalist.
A nuanced portrait of courage in the face of evil, Then They Came For Me puts the question to us today: What would I have done?
Six moving profiles reveal the complex realities behind gun violence in the United States. These are the stories of the shooters. In South Carolina, a young man embarks on a life of crime that culminates in a drug-related shooting and decades in prison; in Chicago, an off-duty police officer engages in a shootout with a murderous gunman, saving a fellow patrolman; in rural Tennessee, a troubled teenager shoots her abusive father in his sleep. The Trigger recounts the dramatic life stories of six individuals who have shot someone in America. In 2017, over 15,000 were killed and over 31,000 were injured by gunfire. Faced with these desensitizing statistics, one easily forgets that each incident is perpetrated by a living, feeling human being who has walked a unique path. The causes and consequences of these violent acts are often far more complicated than one might expect. Author Daniel J. Patinkin exhaustively interviewed each of six shooters about their life experiences and about the unique circumstances that compelled them to use a firearm against another person. The result is a series of profound narratives that is sure to distress and challenge the reader, but also, perhaps, to provide enlightenment and inspiration.
What happens when a Predator drone has as much autonomy as a Google car? Or when a weapon that can hunt its own targets is hacked? Although it sounds like science fiction, the technology already exists to create weapons that can attack targets without human input. Paul Scharre, a leading expert in emerging weapons technologies, draws on deep research and firsthand experience to explore how these next-generation weapons are changing warfare. Scharre's far-ranging investigation examines the emergence of autonomous weapons, the movement to ban them, and the legal and ethical issues surrounding their use. He spotlights artificial intelligence in military technology, spanning decades of innovation from German noise-seeking Wren torpedoes in World War II-antecedents of today's homing missiles-to autonomous cyber weapons, submarine-hunting robot ships, and robot tank armies. Through interviews with defense experts, ethicists, psychologists, and activists, Scharre surveys what challenges might face "centaur warfighters" on future battlefields, which will combine human and machine cognition. We've made tremendous technological progress in the past few decades, but we have also glimpsed the terrifying mishaps that can result from complex automated systems-such as when advanced F-22 fighter jets experienced a computer meltdown the first time they flew over the International Date Line. At least thirty countries already have defensive autonomous weapons that operate under human supervision. Around the globe, militaries are racing to build robotic weapons with increasing autonomy. The ethical questions within this book grow more pressing each day. To what extent should such technologies be advanced? And if responsible democracies ban them, would that stop rogue regimes from taking advantage? At the forefront of a game-changing debate, Army of None engages military history, global policy, and cutting-edge science to argue that we must embrace technology where it can make war more precise and humane, but without surrendering human judgment. When the choice is life or death, there is no replacement for the human heart.
'Glorious' Sunday Times 'Laugh-out-loud funny' The Times 'Extraordinary' Observer 'Exceptional' Telegraph 'Electric' New York Times 'Snort-out-loud' Financial Times 'Dazzling' Guardian 'Do yourself a favour and read this memoir!' BookPage The childhood of Patricia Lockwood, the poet dubbed' The Smutty-Metaphor Queen of Lawrence, Kansas' by The New York Times, was unusual in many respects. There was the location: an impoverished, nuclear waste-riddled area of the American Midwest. There was her mother, a woman who speaks almost entirely in strange riddles and warnings of impending danger. Above all, there was her gun-toting, guitar-riffing, frequently semi-naked father, who underwent a religious conversion on a submarine and found a loophole which saw him approved for the Catholic priesthood by the future Pope Benedict XVI, despite already having a wife and children. When an unexpected crisis forces Lockwood and her husband to move back into her parents' rectory, she must learn to live again with the family's simmering madness, and to reckon with the dark side of her religious upbringing. Pivoting from the raunchy to the sublime, from the comic to the serious, Priestdaddy is an unforgettable story of how we balance tradition against hard-won identity - and of how, having journeyed in the underworld, we can emerge with our levity and our sense of justice intact. 'Destined to be a classic . . . this year's must-read memoir' Mary Karr, author of The Liars' Club 'Irrepressible . . . joyous, funny and filthy . . . Lockwood blows the roof off every paragraph' Joe Dunthorne, author of Submarine 'Beautiful, funny and poignant. I wish I'd written this book' Jenny Lawson, author of Furiously Happy 'A revelatory debut . . . Lockwood's prose is nothing short of ecstatic . . . her portrait of her epically eccentric family is funny, warm, and stuffed to bursting with emotional insight' Joss Whedon 'Praise God, this is why books were invented' Emily Berry, author of Dear Boy and Stranger, Baby
A handful of discoveries have changed the course of human history. This book is about the most recent and potentially the most powerful and dangerous of them all. It is an invention that allows us to rewrite the genetic code that shapes and controls all living beings with astonishing accuracy and ease. Thanks to it, the dreams of genetic manipulation have become a stark reality: the power to cure disease and alleviate suffering, to create new sources of food and energy, as well as to re-design any species, including humans, for our own ends. Jennifer Doudna is the co-inventor of this technology - known as CRISPR - and a scientist of worldwide renown. Writing with fellow researcher Samuel Sternberg, here she provides the definitive account of her discovery, explaining how this wondrous invention works and what it is capable of. She also asks us to consider what our new-found power means: how do we enjoy its unprecedented benefits while avoiding its equally unprecedented dangers? The future of humankind - and of all life on Earth - is at stake. This book is an essential guide to the path that now lies ahead.
Christine M. Korsgaard presents a compelling new view of humans' moral relationships to the other animals. She defends the claim that we are obligated to treat all sentient beings as what Kant called "ends-in-themselves". Drawing on a theory of the good derived from Aristotle, she offers an explanation of why animals are the sorts of beings for whom things can be good or bad. She then turns to Kant's argument for the value of humanity to show that rationality commits us to claiming the standing of ends-in-ourselves, in two senses. Kant argued that as autonomous beings, we claim to be ends-in-ourselves when we claim the standing to make laws for ourselves and each other. Korsgaard argues that as beings who have a good, we also claim to be ends-in-ourselves when we take the things that are good for us to be good absolutely and so worthy of pursuit. The first claim commits us to joining with other autonomous beings in relations of moral reciprocity. The second claim commits us to treating the good of every sentient creature as something of absolute importance. Korsgaard argues that human beings are not more important than the other animals, that our moral nature does not make us superior to the other animals, and that our unique capacities do not make us better off than the other animals. She criticizes the "marginal cases" argument and advances a new view of moral standing as attaching to the atemporal subjects of lives. She criticizes Kant's own view that our duties to animals are indirect, and offers a non-utilitarian account of the relation between pleasure and the good. She also addresses a number of directly practical questions: whether we have the right to eat animals, experiment on them, make them work for us and fight in our wars, and keep them as pets; and how to understand the wrong that we do when we cause a species to go extinct.
A Financial Times 'Best Thing I Read This Year' LONGLISTED FOR THE FT & MCKINSEY BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD Google. Amazon. Facebook. The modern world is defined by vast digital monopolies turning ever-larger profits. Those of us who consume the content that feeds them are farmed for the purposes of being sold ever more products and advertising. Those that create the content - the artists, writers and musicians - are finding they can no longer survive in this unforgiving economic landscape. But it didn't have to be this way. In Move Fast and Break Things, Jonathan Taplin offers a succinct and powerful history of how online life began to be shaped around the values of the entrepreneurs like Peter Thiel and Larry Page who founded these all-powerful companies. Their unprecedented growth came at the heavy cost of tolerating piracy of books, music and film, while at the same time promoting opaque business practices and subordinating the privacy of individual users to create the surveillance marketing monoculture in which we now live. It is the story of a massive reallocation of revenue in which $50 billion a year has moved from the creators and owners of content to the monopoly platforms. With this reallocation of money comes a shift in power. Google, Facebook and Amazon now enjoy political power on par with Big Oil and Big Pharma, which in part explains how such a tremendous shift in revenues from creators to platforms could have been achieved and why it has gone unchallenged for so long. And if you think that's got nothing to do with you, their next move is to come after your jobs. Move Fast and Break Things is a call to arms, to say that is enough is enough and to demand that we do everything in our power to create a different future.
In Understanding Abortion, May Pipes and Women's Health provide a clear and comprehensive guide to the factors to consider when thinking about a termination; what happens during an abortion; and the medical and legal issues. They include interviews with a wide range of women who have terminated their pregnancies, speaking out in their own words about their decisions and feelings; and they explore the political contents of abortion. A detailed resource section provides information about contraception, pregnancy testing, counselling, abortion charities and campaign groups. This accessible and practical book is written for any woman who is considering an abortion, or who has had a termination and wants more information and support, as well as for health and social workers and abortion counsellors.
Should sport be above politics and human rights? As London gets ready for the Olympics, Index on Censorship visits the ethical pit stops, asks whether sporting tournaments can be good for democracy and considers the appeal of championships to sports mad dictators - from Vladimir Putin to Alexander Lukashenko. With Mihir Bose giving the inside track on sport and ethics, Natalie Haynes Corinna Ferguson on new threats to the right to protest in the UK, Stephen Escritt and Martin Polley on brand control, Arnold van Bruggen and Rob Hornstra on Russia's winter challenge, and Leah Borromeo on what the Olympics mean for locals. Plus award-winning Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat, Salil Tripathi on censorship at literary festivals and reports on press freedom from Hungary, Dagestan and Mexico. Index on Censorship is an award-winning magazine, devoted to protecting and promoting free expression. International in outlook, outspoken in comment, Index on Censorship reports on free expression violations around the world, publishes banned writing and shines a light on vital free expression issues through original, challenging and intelligent commentary and analysis, publishing some of the world's finest writers. For subscription options visit: www.indexoncensorship.org/subscribe www.indexoncensorship.org: the place to turn for free up-to-the-minute free expression news and comment Winner 2008 Amnesty International Consumer Magazine of the Year
In this absorbing, up-to-the-minute book, acclaimed technology and politics analyst Micah Sifry sets the extraordinary story of WikiLeaks in the context of the international struggle for transparency.
Sifry argues that activists and open-source web projects have had a seismic impact on the way the world works, and describes how crowd-sourcing initiatives have analysed MPs' expenses, recorded political violence in Kenya and reduced bribery in India -with mixed reactions from political elites.
Fascinating, thoughtful and often eye-opening, this is an essential guide to the new age of transparency.
Combining thought-provoking graphic imagery with truly alarming information culled from some of the most authoritative sources around the world, "The Little Book of Shocking Food Facts" is literally jam-packed with essential truths you need to know about global food politics, fast food culture and healthy nutrition. This startling yet visually stunning book is guaranteed to alter the way you think about food production, while also changing your personal eating habits for the better. How is it that malnutrition is so widespread in the developing world, while obesity is rife in the developed world? What exactly is the nutritional value of junk food versus the health benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables? Do you know what really goes into the production of the food on your plate? "The Little Book of Shocking Food Facts" will help answer these and many other questions surrounding food production and consumption today. The crucial information presented in this book through specially commissioned, state-of-the-art graphic design has been meticulously and painstakingly gleaned from some of the world's most authoritative and up-to-date scientific studies and government reports. Extended footnotes at the back provide full citations for all information sources, as well as easy-to-understand texts that explain the facts in concise detail.
THE NEW YORK TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK The Gene is the story of one of the most powerful and dangerous ideas in our history, from bestselling, prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee. Spanning the globe and several centuries, The Gene is the story of the quest to decipher the master-code that makes and defines humans, that governs our form and function. The story of the gene begins in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856 where a monk stumbles on the idea of a `unit of heredity'. It intersects with Darwin's theory of evolution, and collides with the horrors of Nazi eugenics in the 1940s. The gene transforms post-war biology. It reorganizes our understanding of sexuality, temperament, choice and free will. This is a story driven by human ingenuity and obsessive minds - from Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel to Francis Crick, James Watson and Rosalind Franklin, and the thousands of scientists still working to understand the code of codes. This is an epic, moving history of a scientific idea coming to life, by the author of The Emperor of All Maladies. But woven through The Gene, like a red line, is also an intimate history - the story of Mukherjee's own family and its recurring pattern of mental illness, reminding us that genetics is vitally relevant to everyday lives. These concerns reverberate even more urgently today as we learn to "read" and "write" the human genome - unleashing the potential to change the fates and identities of our children. Majestic in its ambition, and unflinching in its honesty, The Gene gives us a definitive account of the fundamental unit of heredity - and a vision of both humanity's past and future.
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