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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.
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.
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 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.
THE NEW INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE WORLD IS FLATWe all sense it: something big is going on. Life is speeding up, and it is dizzying. Here Thomas L. Friedman reveals the tectonic movements that are reshaping our world, how to adapt to this new age and why, sometimes, we all need to be late.'A master class ... As a guide for perplexed Westerners, this book is very hard to beat ... an honest, cohesive explanation for why the world is the way it is, without miracle cures or scapegoats' John Micklethwait, The New York Times Book Review'Wonderful ... admirably honest ... injects a badly needed dose of optimism into the modern debate' Gillian Tett, Financial Times'His main piece of advice for individuals, corporations, and countries is clear: Take a deep breath and adapt. This world isn't going to wait for you' Fortune'A humane and empathetic book' David Henkin, The Washington Post
Every muscle in my body ached. I told myself to grieve, get it out of my system, so that I could be the mother my daughter needed me to be. The agony of knowing what was coming...endless. Just married, vivacious and thrill-seeking, Brittany Maynard was in the prime of her life at the age of twenty nine. Then she was delivered devastating news. She had unknowingly been living with a terminal brain tumour for the past ten years that would slowly and painfully kill her. Desperate to take control of the situation, she asked her mother to help her die with dignity. In this heart-breaking and powerful book, Brittany's mum opens up about her experiences, offering hope and inspiration to anyone facing the loss of a loved one.
Jennifer Doudna, the world-famous scientist behind CRISPR, `one of the most monumental discoveries in biology' (New York Times), describes its power to reshape the future of all life and warns of its use. 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. A Crack In Creation also asks us to consider what our new-found power means: how do we enjoy its unprecedented benefits while avoiding its equally unprecedented dangers? As Doudna argues, every member of our species is implicated in the answers to these questions. Somehow we must consider and act together. 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.
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.
Selected as a Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Economist, Independent, Observer and Mail on Sunday THE NEW YORK TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER SHORTLISTED FOR THE WELLCOME BOOK PRIZE 2017 `Dramatic and precise... [A] thrilling and comprehensive account of what seems certain to be the most radical, controversial and, to borrow from the subtitle, intimate science of our time... He is a natural storyteller... A page-turner... Read this book and steel yourself for what comes next' Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times 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. 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. 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. 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.
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 list of books suppressed in the English language features the sacred and profane, poetic and pornographic, famous and infamous. A history of literary censorship is therefore a history not only of texts but of the authorities that have attempted to prevent their circulation: sovereigns, politicians, judges, prison officers, slaveholders, school governors, librarians, teachers, parents, students, editors and publishers. Censored deals with some of the most contentious and fascinating cases, including works now praised as literary masterpieces, such as James Joyce's Ulysses and Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita; as well as a troubling book about assassination that was implicated in a murder case. The books in this comprehensive study have been chosen to showcase the variety of suppressed literature, the methods and consequences of censorship, and landmarks in the history of free speech.
From the Pulitzer Prize winner and No.1 international bestselling author of The World is Flat, an essential and entertaining field guide to thriving in the twenty-first century.We all sense it - something big is going on. You feel it in your workplace. You feel it when you talk to your children. You can't miss it when you read the newspapers or watch the news. Our lives are speeding up - and it is dizzying.In Thank You for Being Late, a work unlike any he has attempted before, Thomas L. Friedman exposes the tectonic movements that are reshaping the world today and explains how to get the most out of them.Friedman's thesis is that to understand the twenty-first century, you need to understand that the planet's three largest forces - Moore's law (technology), the market (globalization) and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss) - are all accelerating at once, transforming the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics and community. An extraordinary release of energy is reshaping everything from how we hail a taxi to the fate of nations to our most intimate relationships. It is creating vast new opportunities for individuals and small groups to save the world - or perhaps to destroy it.Thank You for Being Late is a work of contemporary history that serves as a field manual for how to think about this era of accelerations. It's also an argument for 'being late' - for pausing to appreciate this amazing historical epoch we're passing through and reflecting on its possibilities and dangers. He shows us how we can anchor ourselves as individuals in the eye of this storm, and how communities can create a 'topsoil of trust' to do the same for their increasingly diverse and digital populations.Written with his trademark vitality, wit, and optimism, and with unequalled access to many of those at the forefront of the changes he is describing all over the world, Thank You for Being Late is Friedman's most ambitious book - and an essential guide to the present and the future.
`You can only find out the rights and wrongs by Reasoning - never by being rude about your opponent's psychology.' For C. S. Lewis, reason and logic are the sensible way to approach faith and ethics. Much of the 20th century's ills are caused by ill-founded beliefs and opinions.Lewis's original approach remains as vital today as ever. He is able to take the most convoluted subject, turn it side on and shed bright illumination on it. To be able to see along things rather than at them - just like a beam of sunlight that invades the darkness of a toolshed - is, to Lewis, the way to understanding.Written variously between 1940 and 1962, this collection of essays represents the best of Lewis's considerable wisdom on the great ethical and theological concerns of the day.
It isn't enough to celebrate the death penalty's demise. We must learn from it.When Henry McCollum was condemned to death in 1983 in rural North Carolina, death sentences were commonplace. In 2015, DNA tests set McCollum free. By then, death sentences were as rare as lightning strikes. To most observers this national trend came as a surprise. What changed? Brandon Garrett hand-collected and analyzed national data, looking for causes and implications of this turnaround. End of Its Rope explains what he found, and why the story of who killed the death penalty and how can be the catalyst for criminal justice reform.No single factor put the death penalty on the road to extinction, Garrett concludes. Death row exonerations fostered rising awareness of errors in death penalty cases, at the same time that a decline in murder rates eroded law-and-order arguments. Defense lawyers radically improved how they litigate death cases when given adequate resources. More troubling, many states replaced the death penalty with what amounts to a virtual death sentence--life without possibility of parole. Today, the death penalty hangs on in a few scattered counties where prosecutors cling to entrenched habits and patterns of racial bias.The failed death penalty experiment teaches us how inept lawyering, overzealous prosecution, race discrimination, wrongful convictions, and excessive punishments undermine the pursuit of justice. Garrett makes a strong closing case for what a future criminal justice system might look like if these injustices were remedied.
Selected as a Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Economist, Independent, Observer and Mail on Sunday THE NEW YORK TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK `Dramatic and precise... [A] thrilling and comprehensive account of what seems certain to be the most radical, controversial and, to borrow from the subtitle, intimate science of our time... He is a natural storyteller... A page-turner... Read this book and steel yourself for what comes next' Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times 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. 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. 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. 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.
Over the past few decades there has been a revolution in terms of who controls knowledge and information. This rapid change has imperilled the way we think. Without pausing to consider the cost, the world has rushed to embrace the products and services of four titanic corporations. We shop with Amazon; socialise on Facebook; turn to Apple for entertainment; and rely on Google for information. These firms sell their efficiency and purport to make the world a better place, but what they have done instead is to enable an intoxicating level of daily convenience. As these companies have expanded, marketing themselves as champions of individuality and pluralism, their algorithms have pressed us into conformity and laid waste to privacy. They have produced an unstable and narrow culture of misinformation, and put us on a path to a world without private contemplation, autonomous thought, or solitary introspection - a world without mind. In order to restore our inner lives, we must avoid being co-opted by these gigantic companies, and understand the ideas that underpin their success. Elegantly tracing the intellectual history of computer science - from the Descartes and the enlightenment to Alan Turing to Stuart Brand and the hippie origins of today's Silicon Valley - Foer exposes the dark underpinnings of our most idealistic dreams for technology. The corporate ambitions of Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon, he argues, are trampling longstanding liberal values, especially intellectual property and privacy. This is a nascent stage in the total automation and homogenization of social, political, and intellectual life. By reclaiming our private authority over how we intellectually engage with the world, we have the power to stem the tide. At stake is nothing less than who we are, and what we will become. There have been monopolists in the past but today's corporate giants have far more nefarious aims. They're monopolists who want access to every facet of our identities and influence over every corner of our decision-making. Until now few have grasped the sheer scale of the threat. Foer explains not just the looming existential crisis but the imperative of resistance.
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
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