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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.
The SS Mendi is a wreck site off the Isle of Wight under the protection of Historic England. Nearly 650 men, mostly from the South African Native Labour Corps (SANLC), lost their lives in February 1917 following a collision in fog as they travelled to serve as labourers on the Western Front, in one of the largest single losses of life during the conflict.
The loss of the SS Mendi occupies a special place in South African military history. Prevented from being trained as fighting troops by their own government, the men of the SANLC hoped that their contribution to the war effort would lead to greater civil rights and economic opportunities in the new white-ruled nation of South Africa after the war. These hopes proved unfounded, and the SS Mendi became a focus of black resistance before and during the apartheid era in South Africa. One hundred years on, the wreck of the SS Mendi is a physical symbol of black South Africans’ long fight for social and political justice and equality and is one of a very select group of historic shipwrecks from which contemporary political and social meaning can be drawn, and whose loss has rippled forward in time to influence later events; a loss that is now an important part of the story of a new ‘rainbow nation’.
The wreck of the SS Mendi is now recognised as one of England’s most important First World War heritage assets and the wreck site is listed under the Protection of Military Remains Act. New archaeological investigation has provided real and direct information about the wreck for the first time.
The loss of the Mendi is used to highlight the story of the SANLC and other labour corps as well as the wider treatment of British imperial subjects in wartime.
The apartheid state was at war. It was a conflict intended to stifle demands for freedom, subjugate Southern Africa and benefit the grip on power by the ruling elite. It was a fight for survival, which was to intensify in the two decades before South Africa’s liberation in 1994. While internal resistance grew, the United Nations imposed mandatory sanctions prohibiting the sale of strategic goods such as arms and oil to South Africa. The regime was confronted with an existential threat – isolation. A covert network of over 50 countries, including big powers and sworn enemies, was constructed to counter sanctions to illegally supply guns to Pretoria. Under the cloak of secrecy, allies in corporations, banks, governments and intelligence agencies sprung into action.
Apartheid, Guns And Money: A Tale Of Profit is an exposé of this machinery created in defence of apartheid. They include heads of states, arms dealers, aristocrats, plutocrats, senators, bankers, spies, journalists and members of secret lobby groups. Moving in the shadows, these people were complicit in a crime against humanity. The motivation for some was ideological as part of the Cold War anti-communism crusade. Others felt kinship with the last white regime in Africa. The book also addresses questions of unsolved murders and domestic complicity by South African business with the apartheid state.
This deeply researched book lifts the lid on some of the darkest secrets of apartheid’s economic crimes never before fully investigated. The stories weave together material collected in over two dozen archives in eight countries over four years, providing readers with an insight into tens of thousands of pages of newly declassified documents. Interviews with businessmen, politicians, sanctions busters and freedom fighters provide eyewitness accounts of acts of complicity and contrition.
The book argues that networks of state capture have been with us for decades. These must be confronted to deal with the corrupt networks in our democratic political system. In forging the country’s future a new generation needs to grapple with the baffling silence of apartheid-era economic crime and ask difficult questions of those who benefitted from it. This book provides the evidence and the motivation to do so.
An asteroid the size of Table Mountain crashed into what was to become South Africa over 2 billion years ago, marking the spot. The country’s history since then has always been robust and full of energy. This book takes you in record time from that moment, when the earth’s richest gold reefs were shaped, to the advent of democracy in 1994, another event that stunned the world, and beyond. Along the way you will encounter some of the most ancient dinosaurs on record, the very first people on the planet, and the first cultures. You will see outsiders moving in to reshape history: hunters and gatherers, cultivators and herders, iron-workers from the north, and immigrants from Europe and Asia. They fought and made peace; they stumbled upon gold and diamonds; they rose to the heights of excellence and sank to the depths of oppression, until on one day they all queued as equals to elect a government. That is the story marked by dinosaurs, diamonds and democracy.
It probably took a fraction of a second from the knock - a single bang - to the opening of the door and the entry of an unexpected visitor into the room. They had just finished their lunch. The unannounced visitor ...simply pretended that everything was normal. There he stood - unfazed and somehow gigantic in his presence. The room had suddenly been invaded by a man who was to be a landmark in the lives of the trainees...
The book opens in China, 1962. Andrew Mlangeni is one of a small select group undergoing military training. The unannounced visitor is Mao Tse-Tung. While still at school, Andrew Mlangeni joined the Communist Party of South Africa and also the ANC Youth League. These were the organisations that shaped his values. Decades of resourceful activism were to lead to his arrest and life sentence in the Rivonia trial. Mlangeni's lifelong commitment to the struggle for liberation reverberates with other biographies of leading figures. His perspective comes from a somewhat ambiguous position in the hierarchy of liberation leaders. Mlangeni was selected as one of the first-ever six members who received military training in China before the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe. He seems to have been chosen because he was a dedicated, intelligent and dependable operative, rather than a leader.
Even after his release after 25 years on Robben Island, Mlangeni was not given a senior position in the post-apartheid democratic government. 'I was always the backroom boy,' says Andrew Mlangeni about himself. This story of an ANC elder is a rigorously researched historical record overlaid with intensely personal reflections which intersect with the political narrative. Above all, it is one man's story, set in the maelstrom of the liberation struggle.
This biographical project has been developed for, and published in conjunction with, the June and Andrew Mlangeni Foundation.
After matric Lesley took a gap year to the United States. Before she left, her mother, in jest or premonition, said: “Don’t get married and don’t join a cult” – but Lesley ended up in what is considered one of the most dangerous existing cults in America.
In this book Lesley shares the story of her life-changing years with this group – living out of a backpack, an arranged marriage to a Brother, having home births, threats of losing her children and surviving in strange, glorious ways.
In the first half of the nineteenth century, Southern Africa was a jumble of British colonies, Boer republics and African chiefdoms, a troublesome region of little interest to the outside world. Into this frontier world came the Reitz family, Afrikaner gentry from the Cape, who settled in Bloemfontein and played a key role in the building of the Orange Free State.
Frank Reitz, successively chief justice and modernising president of the young republic, went on to serve as State Secretary of the Transvaal Republic. In 1899, he stood shoulder to shoulder with President Paul Kruger to resist Britain’s war of conquest in Southern Africa. At the heart of this tale is the extraordinary life of Deneys Reitz, third son of Frank Reitz and Bianca Thesen. The young Reitz’s account of his adventures in the field during the Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902), published as Commando, became a classic of irregular warfare. After a period of exile in Madagascar, he went on become one of South Africa’s most distinguished lawyers, statesmen and soldiers. Martin Meredith interweaves Reitz’s experiences, taken from his unpublished notebooks, with the wider story of Britain’s brutal suppression of Boer resistance.
Concise and readable, Afrikaner Odyssey is a wide-ranging portrait of an aristocratic Afrikaner family whose achievements run like fine thread through these turbulent times, and whose presence is still marked on the South African landscape.
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.
John Kane-Berman is uniquely qualified to look back over the enormous political and social changes that have taken place in his lifetime in this fractious country. In his career as student leader, Rhodes Scholar, newspaperman, independent columnist, speech maker, commentator, and Chief Executive, for thirty years, of the South African Institute of Race Relations, Kane-Berman has been at the coal face of political change in South Africa.
The breadth and depth of ideas and events covered here are striking: the disintegration of apartheid, the chaos of the ‘people’s war’ and its contribution to the broader societal breakdown we see today, the liberal slide-away, the authoritarian ANC with its racial ideology and revolutionary goals, to mention only a few. Kane-Berman’s willingness to confront received wisdom is thoroughly refreshing, and he is forthright about the threats to freedom, democracy, and growth in contemporary South Africa, many of which he identified even before the ANC came to power.
Writing, debate, and reasoned argument have been Kane-Berman’s stock in trade and his clarity of vision and personal insight have created a memoir of rare candour and absorbing interest.
At just 17, Fatima Meer threw herself into resisting racism, her first public act of defiance in a long and pioneering political life. Despite assassination attempts, she persevered on the courageous path she had chosen.
In this intimate memoir, Fatima Meer shares her story of growing up and of love, joy, longing and loss. As Meer open-heartedly reflects on her regrets as well as her triumphs, an enchanting tale emerges of a rebellious, revolutionary woman who never shied away from the truth.
A vivid story of the men and women who took a stand when sport mixed with politics.
In 1971, when the racially selected all-white Springbok rugby team toured Australia, it became a nation at war with itself. There was bloodshed as tens of thousands of anti-apartheid campaigners clashed with governments, police, and rugby fans - who were given free reign to assault protestors. Queensland premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen declared a state of emergency. Prime minister William McMahon called the Wallabies who refused to play 'national disgraces'. Barbed wire ringed the great rugby grounds to stop protestors invading the field.
Pitched Battle recreates what became of the most rancorous periods in modern Australian history - a time of courage, pain, faith, fanaticism, and political opportunism - which ultimately made heroes of the seven Wallabies who refused to play, played a key role in the later political careers of Peter Beattie, Meredith Burgmann, and Peter Hain, and ultimately led to the abandonment of apartheid.
Die gesprek oor Afrikaans en die bruin mense wat die skrywers in hierdie boek aanroer, is tydig in die opsig dat ná al die ambivalensie oor die Afrikaans van ons hart en die onverkwiklike manier waarop ons in hierdie taal verdruk en misken is, ons ons vry heid gekry het – wat ook verantwoordelikheid meebring om minstens onder mekaar klaarheid te vind oor wat nou vorentoe met ons taal moet gebeur.
Dit is onomstootlik so dat ons as bruin mense die aard van die Khoisan en swart African met ons saamdra. Dit is net so waar dat ons ook Europees in die Anglosaksiese sin van die woord is. Ons is tewens ook trots bewus van ons Asiatiese herkoms. Afrikaans is ook die taal van ons slawevoorouers.
Ons moet al hierdie tradisies vir onsself toe-eien.
What happened to Generation X? Millenials dominate our Facebook feeds and people bang on about the baby boomers - but what about us? The lost generation, the middle youth, the middle child of today. Are we still cool?
Generation X? Remember them? The kids who believed they'd never grow up. The generation Douglas Coupland immortalised in his novel of the same name. The wry, knowing navel-gazers obsessed with cool and being cool who today are sandwiched between the boomers of the 60s and the millennials. Gen X'ers came of age against a backdrop of Britpop and the Spice Girls, Tarantino and Pulp Fiction, Madchester and the Stone Roses, acid house and rave, super clubs, Ministry and Cream. They holidayed in Ibiza high on hooch and E and never ever believed there'd be a comedown. So whatever happened to them? We turned 40. And as Tiffanie Darke points out in this witty exploration of the generation who defied generalisation, we're not handling it all that well...
Where once we wore floaty skirts and Doc Martins, now we're sporting Scandi fashion and 'interesting' trainers. We still party in Ibiza but now bodyboard in Cornwall. Where once mixtapes were the ultimate mating call, now we take selfies and swap Spotify playlists - all the while conspicuously wearing large Dr Beats headphones and casually leaving old packets of Kingsize Rizla lying round our open plan kitchens. More to the point, Gen X are now in charge. In government, in business and the creative industries. The most anti-establishment of generations has now become the establishment. But as tech overtakes the arts as society's great shaping force, Tiffanie ponders - does cool and its pursuit still matter?
If Gen X had it sorted, gave us Barack Obama and downward facing dogs, why is stress the new flu? Why are we working not for love anymore - or cool - but to avoid negative equity and depleting pension pots? In Now We Are 40, Tiffanie interviews some of the most iconic Gen X'ers such as Pearl Lowe, Richard Reed and Blur's bassist Alex James to look at how Gen X live their life in between being young and old, and how it feels to want to burn down the establishment only to realise that now you are the establishment.
Danksy die 30 000 koerante wat die afgelope eeu ses dae per week uitgegee is, is Die Burger vandag ’n huishoudelike naam. Die boek diep van die merkwaardigste gebeure, groot en klein, op wat sy joernaliste beleef het – van die Groot Griep en die twee wêreldoorloë tot Chris Barnard se eerste hartoorplanting en Nelson Mandela se afsterwe in 2013.
Skandes en skandale, natuurrampe, persoonlikhede in die nuus, belangrike sportmomente – die boek is nie net ’n belangrike optekening nie, maar het ook groot nostalgiewaarde. Die “onthou jy nog?”-faktor word versterk deur hope foto’s én spotprente.
Ever since 1503 when an off-course seafarer climbed Table Mountain to find out where on Earth he was, visitors to the Cape have toiled, scrambled, ridden on horseback, climbed or run to the top ... and written about it afterwards.
Taken together, these reports provide a fascinating biography of the mountain. Looked at separately, they are thrilling reads, penned by larger-than-life voyagers and, often unlikely, adventurers. The life-stories of 27 visitors are told with flair and humour. Together with the accounts of the ascents, they provide a riveting read.
This is the first time that the English translations of these reports, written in various languages, including Russian and Swedish, have been collected in one volume.
In 2011 the world was shocked when the news broke that Joost van der Westhuizen, known for years as the golden boy of South African rugby and a former Springbok captain, had been diagnosed with motor neuron disease (MND).
This rare condition attacks the central nervous system, causing progressive disability. There is no known cure. All who have seen Joost in action will know that he is not one to give up without a fight. His game-changing prowess as a brilliant scrum half is now focused on a battle for survival and, more importantly, on making a difference to the lives of others with the disease. In a race against time, Joost has a dream to fulfil. He says: “In the beginning you go through all the emotions and you ask, ‘Why me?’ It’s quite simple. ‘Why not me?’ If I have to go through this to help future generations, why not me?” His acceptance of his symptoms is equally pragmatic: “One day you can’t move your arm, another day you don’t have speech. Every day you are reborn and you take the day as it comes.”
Glory Game – The Joost van der Westhuizen Story is a compelling narrative of redemption set against the backdrop of an illustrious career in rugby. It is the story of a modern-day warrior forced to face his own human frailty. Joost shows us that beyond ambition, success and fame lies the true wealth of family and friends, and that within a ravaged body the spirit can remain invincible.
In 2008, two broke art school graduates and their coder-whiz friend set up a platform that - in less than a decade - became the largest provider of accommodations in the world. Now valued at $30 billion, Airbnb is in the very top tier of Silicon Valley's 'unicorn' startups. Yet the company has not been without controversy - disrupting a $500 billion hotel industry makes you a few enemies.
This is also a story of regulators who want to shut it down, hotel industry leaders who want it to disappear and neighbourhoods that struggle with private homes open for public rental. But beyond the headlines and the horror stories, Airbnb has changed the terms of travel for a whole generation - where a sense of belonging has built trust between hosts and guests seeking a more original travel experience that hotels have struggled to replicate. This is the first, definitive book to tell the remarkable story behind Airbnb in all its forms - cultural zeitgeist, hotel disruptor, enemy to regulators - and the first in-depth character study of its leader Brian Chesky, the company's curious co-founder and CEO.
It reveals what got Airbnb where it is today, why they are nothing like Uber, and where they are going next.
This stirring collection of essays and talks by activist and former judge Albie Sachs is the culmination of more than 25 years of thought about constitution-making and non-racialism. Following the Constitutional Court's landmark Nkandla ruling in March 2016, it serves as a powerful reminder of the tenets of the Constitution, the rule of law and the continuous struggle to uphold democratic rights and freedoms. We, The People offers an intimate insider's view of South Africa's Constitution by a writer who has been deeply entrenched in its historical journey from the depths of apartheid right up to the politically contested present.
As a second-year law student at the University of Cape Town, Sachs took part in the Defiance Campaign and went on to attend the Congress of the People in Kliptown, where the Freedom Charter was adopted in 1955. Three decades later, shortly after the bomb attack in Maputo that cost him his arm and the sight in one eye, he was called on by the Constitutional Committee of the African National Congress to co-draft (with Kader Asmal) the first outline of a Bill of Rights for a new democratic South Africa. In 1994, he was appointed by Nelson Mandela to the Constitutional Court, where he served as a judge until 2009. We, The People contains some of Sachs' most memorable public talks and writings, in which he takes us back to the broad-based popular foundations of the Constitution in the Freedom Charter. He picks up on Oliver Tambo's original vision of a non-racial future for South Africa, rather than one based on institutionalised power-sharing between the races. He explores the tension between perfectability and corruptibility, hope and mistrust, which lies at the centre of all constitutions.
Sachs discusses the enforcement of social and economic rights, and contemplates the building of the Constitutional Court in the heart of the Old Fort Prison as a mechanism for reconciling the past and the future. Subjective experience and objective analysis interact powerfully in a personalised narrative that reasserts the value of constitutionality not just for South Africans, but for people striving to advance human dignity, equality and freedom across the world today.
Jan Christiaan Smuts was ’n soldaat, staatsman, intellektueel en een van Suid-Afrika se grootste leiers. Tog word daar vandag min oor hom gepraat of geskryf, al beleef ons tans skynbaar ’n leierskapsvakuum.
In Jan Smuts: Afrikaner Sonder Grense voer Richard Steyn aan dat ons hierdie indrukwekkende kryger-staatsman se lewe en denke moet herbesoek, omdat daar soveel te leer is uit sy merkwaardige prestasies. Die hoogs leesbare verslag ondersoek onder meer Smuts se rol as politieke leier, as adviseur van wêreldleiers, sy spirituele en intellektuele lewe en sy verhoudings met vroue. Sy unieke bydraes op ŉ verskeidenheid ander terreine, insluitend botanie, bewaring en filosofie, word ook bespreek.
Jan Smuts: Afrikaner Sonder Grense skram egter nie weg van die paradoksale in Smuts nie. Hoewel hy een van die argitekte van die Verenigde Nasies en ŉ groot kampvegter vir menseregte was, kon hy nie so ver kom om die plaaslike swart meerderheid politieke regte te gun nie.
A detailed account of the rich history and resilience of the Bakwena ba Mogopa, one of the most important traditional communities in South Africa.
This seminal and lucid work depicts the scope of social, political and economic change of the community from its earliest beginnings as the Kwena tribe migrating from East Africa to southern Africa, the birth of the tribe as a distinct and independent lineage in the 1600s, the impact of land dispossession of the Boer settlers as they advanced from the Cape Colony to the interior, the impact of Christianity, the racist and oppressive attitudes and policies of colonial governments, through to the hardships endured under the Union government and apartheid.
Mountains Of Spirit captures the role that the traditional leaders of the Bakwena ba Mogopa played in shaping the community and responding to challenges of the modern economy and constitutional democracy of South Africa. It is an important study of the tribal structures, the social, cultural and traditional practices, and the questions of land, minerals and mining rights of the Bakwena ba Mogopa.
A story spanning migrations, wars, land dispossession and restitution, intra-tribal rivalry, unrest, cultural disintegration, forced removals, pain and suffering and reintegration, Mountains Of Spirit reclaims the history of a people and evinces the fighting spirit and resilience of a resourceful community against immense odds.
Situated between the Hottentots Holland Mountains and the Breede River, the Overberg is an important agricultural region and a popular holiday destination for tourists and nature lovers who delight in the beauty of its mountainous landscape, abundant plant species and long sandy beaches.
But this area also has a rich history going back thousands of years, when the indigenous Khoi people originally thrived there, before the first European settlers arrived to leave their own indelible imprint on the culture, architecture and character of the region. This book provides a detailed account of this past by pointing out the many places, buildings, events and personalities that have made the Overberg the diverse and unique place that it is today.
The Overberg has been a home or point of interest for explorers, innovators, artists and writers, for figures as varied as Bartholomew Diaz, Olof Bergh, Hendrik Verwoerd, Gregoire Boonzaier, Audrey Blignault and Breyten Breytenbach. Some of South Africa’s oldest towns, houses and missionary stations can be found here, and its treacherous coastline has been the cause of hundreds of shipwrecks for centuries.
Enlivened by historical and current photographs and informative side panels, this book is a collector’s item.
Jonathan Jansen is die voormalige Rektor van die Universiteit van die Vrystaat, met 'n formidabele reputasie vir transformasie en 'n diepgewortelde verbintenis tot versoening in gemeenskappe wat met die erfenis van apartheid saamleef. In hierdie boek, Jansen se persoonlikste en mees intieme boek tot op hede, daag Suid-Afrika se geliefde professor die stereotipes en stigma uit wat so maklik op Kaapse Vlakte-ma's van toepassing gemaak word as luidrugtig, wellustig en sonder tande – en bied hy dié deernisvolle verhaal aan as 'n lofsang vir ma's oral wat op moeilike plekke gesinne moet grootmaak en gemeenskappe moet bou.
As jong man het Jansen gewonder hoe ma's dit regkry om kinders onder moeilike omstandighede groot te maak – en toe besef die antwoord is reg voor hom in die vorm van Sarah Jansen, sy eie ma. Deur haar vroeë lewe in Montagu en die gevolge van apartheid se gedwonge verskuiwings na te speur, werp Jansen lig op hoe sterk vroue nie slegs daarin geslaag het om gesinne bymekaar te hou nie, maar hulle kinders ook met integriteit groot te maak.
Met sy kenmerkende fynsinnigheid, humor en eerlikheid, volg Jansen sy ma se lewensverhaal as 'n jong verpleegster en ma van vyf kinders, en wys hy hoe dié ma's hulle verlede verwerk het, hulle huise ingerig het, sin gemaak het van die politiek, die liefde bestuur en kernwaardes gekommunikeer het – hoe hulle hulle lewens gelei het. Om sy eie herinneringe te balanseer, het Jansen hom op sy suster, Naomi, beroep om haar eie insigte en herinneringe te deel, en daardeur spesiale waarde tot hierdie roerende memoir toe te voeg.
Jonathan Jansen is the former Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State, with a formidable reputation for transformation and for a deep commitment to reconciliation in communities living with the heritage of apartheid. In this, Jansen’s most personal and intimate book to date, South Africa’s beloved professor contemplates the stereotypes and stigma so readily applied to Cape Flats mothers as bawdy, lusty and gap-toothed – and offers this endearing antidote as a praise song to mothers everywhere who raise families and build communities in difficult places.
As a young man, Jansen questioned how mothers managed to raise children in trying circumstances – and then realised that the answer was right in front of him in the form of Sarah Jansen, his own mother. Tracing her early life in Montagu and the consequences of apartheid’s forced removals, Jansen unpacks how strong women managed to not only keep families together, but raise them with integrity.
With his trademark delicacy, humour and frankness, Jansen follows his mother’s life story as a young nurse and mother to five children, and shows how mothers dealt with their pasts, organised their homes, made sense of politics, managed affection, communicated core values – how they led their lives. As a balance to his own recollections, Jansen has called on his sister, Naomi, to offer her own insights and memories, adding special value to this touching personal memoir.
Set amid the civil rights movement, this is the true story of NASA's African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America's space program.
Before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as 'Human Computers', calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts, these 'coloured computers' used pencil and paper to write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.
Moving from World War II through NASA's golden age, touching on the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the women's rights movement, 'Hidden Figures' interweaves a rich history of mankind's greatest adventure with the intimate stories of five courageous women whose work forever changed the world.
Internationally-renowned historian Hermann Giliomee has himself been intimately involved in the unfolding drama of South Africa’s history, as participant at the Dakar talks with the ANC, as outspoken commentator for the English press, and as leading thinker on the Afrikaners. Giliomee’s lucidity and original insights make this more than just his own story. It is also a gripping narrative, filled with anecdotes and revealing inner workings of the Afrikaner establishment.
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