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In this fresh and highly readable collection of South African biographical essays, a distinguished group of authors illuminates the lives of eleven colourful, complex men and women whose personal experiences throw fascinating light on the times in which they lived.
The individuals whose stories are told here are very different in time, in place and in work and at play, but are united by an abundantly rich humanity and the myriad ways in which they navigated their existence through the uneven terrain of South Africa's distant and more recent past. Including colonial administrators, activists, educationists, sportsmen, a poet, a painter and a pilot, Illuminating Lives is a wide-ranging and moving book that provides readers with striking and unexpected insights into our history.
Here are some intriguing South African lives well worth knowing about.
The demise of apartheid was one of the great achievements of postwar history, sought after and celebrated by a progressive global community. Looking at these events from the other side, An African Volk explores how the apartheid state strove to maintain power as the world of white empire gave way to a post-colonial environment that repudiated racial hierarchy.
Drawing upon archival research across Southern Africa and beyond, as well as interviews with leaders of the apartheid order, Jamie Miller shows how the white power structure attempted to turn the new political climate to its advantage. Instead of simply resisting decolonization and African nationalism in the name of white supremacy, the regime looked to co-opt and invert the norms of the new global era to promote a fresh ideological basis for its rule. It adapted discourses of nativist identity, African anti-colonialism, economic development, anti-communism, and state sovereignty to rearticulate what it meant to be African. An African Volk details both the global and local repercussions.
At the dawn of the 1970s, the apartheid state reached out eagerly to independent Africa in an effort to reject the mantle of colonialism and redefine the white polity as a full part of the post-colonial world. This outreach both reflected and fuelled heated debates within white society, exposing a deeply divided polity in the midst of profound economic, cultural, and social change. Situated at the nexus of African, decolonization, and Cold War history, An African Volk takes readers into the corridors of white power to detail the apartheid regime's campaign to break out of isolation and secure global acceptance.
The first definitive history of the Mossad, Shin Bet, and the IDF’s targeted killing programs, hailed by The New York Times as “an exceptional work, a humane book about an incendiary subject.”
The Talmud says: “If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first.” This instinct to take every measure, even the most aggressive, to defend the Jewish people is hardwired into Israel’s DNA. From the very beginning of its statehood in 1948, protecting the nation from harm has been the responsibility of its intelligence community and armed services, and there is one weapon in their vast arsenal that they have relied upon to thwart the most serious threats: Targeted assassinations have been used countless times, on enemies large and small, sometimes in response to attacks against the Israeli people and sometimes preemptively.
In this page-turning, eye-opening book, journalist and military analyst Ronen Bergman—praised by David Remnick as “arguably [Israel’s] best investigative reporter”—offers a riveting inside account of the targeted killing programs: their successes, their failures, and the moral and political price exacted on the men and women who approved and carried out the missions.
Bergman has gained the exceedingly rare cooperation of many current and former members of the Israeli government, including Prime Ministers Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, and Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as high-level figures in the country’s military and intelligence services: the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), the Mossad (the world’s most feared intelligence agency), Caesarea (a “Mossad within the Mossad” that carries out attacks on the highest-value targets), and the Shin Bet (an internal security service that implemented the largest targeted assassination campaign ever, in order to stop what had once appeared to be unstoppable: suicide terrorism).
Including never-before-reported, behind-the-curtain accounts of key operations, and based on hundreds of on-the-record interviews and thousands of files to which Bergman has gotten exclusive access over his decades of reporting, Rise and Kill First brings us deep into the heart of Israel’s most secret activities. Bergman traces, from statehood to the present, the gripping events and thorny ethical questions underlying Israel’s targeted killing campaign, which has shaped the Israeli nation, the Middle East, and the entire world.
Africa's leading producer of electricity, Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd, is also a vertically integrated monopoly, owned by the South African state. This national champion was shaken in 2008, when it was obliged to introduce 'load shedding', or rolling blackouts, and again in late 2014. Trying to understand how and why one of the iconic pillars of South African state capitalism is now in distress, the authors of this book argue that the so-called electricity crisis is in fact a public monopoly crisis.
Moving beyond technical aspects, they explore the relationship between state power and Eskom before, during and after apartheid. From this perspective, they suggest that the current technical and financial troubles of this public utility are illustrative of the weakening of its technopolitical regime, of how national institutions have governed Eskom's technological development, and of the pursuit of political goals in the production of electrical power. Without a clear industrial strategy during the 2000s, Eskom became a powerful tool of Broad-Black Economic Empowerment as well as a neopatrimonial system which generates profits captured by the ruling party. As a result, crisis in Eskom shakes the whole political edifice. Inefficient and its finances increasingly under scrutiny, this state-owned enterprise's existence as a monopolistic public utility is regularly a subject of debate.
The authors discuss the ambivalent role of Eskom in the national energy transition policy and whether solutions point in the direction of de-integrating this public monopoly and allowing its current technopolitical regime to enter a planned or natural decline.
South Africa is a country rich in pathways, tracks and roads – both tar and gravel. It is also a country of wonderful stories, blessed with a varied, colourful and contested history.
For more than a year veteran journalist Luke Alfred walked South Africa’s roads through cities, countryside and everything in between.
Early One Sunday Morning I Decided to Step Out and Find South Africa tells the stories of some of the country’s most interesting and sometimes forgotten places.
In die jare 1891 tot 1893 het ongeveer 770 persone Transvaal verlaat en na Angola en Duits-Suidwes-Afrika getrek om hulle heil daar te soek. Dit staan bekend as die “sesde” Dorslandtrek.
Sowat 45 De Jagers het in verskillende groepe aan hierdie epiese trek deelgeneem. Ná die sesde Dorslandtrek het hulle tussen Angola, Suidwes-Afrika, Suid-Afrika en selfs Kenia rondgeswerf en verdere avonture oor die hele Suider-Afrika beleef. Sommige De Jagers het in 1928 van Angola na Suidwes-Afrika getrek en hulle daar gevestig, terwyl ander eers in 1958 uit Angola gerepatrieer is.
Uit die beperkte beskikbare bronne is die verskillende trekroetes van die sesde Dorslandtrek gerekonstrueer en vir die eerste keer word ’n kaart van die verskillende trekroetes gepubliseer. ’n Geslagregister van bykans 1800 afstammelinge en aangetroude familielede van die De Jagers van die sesde Dorslandtrek en byna 500 foto’s vorm ’n omvattende beeld van hierdie familiegeskiedenis.
Two tales of a city: The historical race to reach one of the world's most mythologized places, and the story of how a contemporary band of archivists and librarians, fighting to save its ancient manuscripts from destruction at the hands of al Qaeda, added another layer to the legend.
To Westerners, the name "Timbuktu" long conjured a tantalising paradise, an African El Dorado where even the slaves wore gold. Beginning in the late eighteenth century, a series of explorers gripped by the fever for "discovery" tried repeatedly to reach the fabled city. But one expedition after another went disastrously awry, succumbing to attack, the climate, and disease. Timbuktu was rich in another way too. A medieval centre of learning, it was home to tens of thousands of ancient manuscripts, on subjects ranging from religion to poetry, law to history, pharmacology, and astronomy. When al-Qaeda-linked jihadists surged across Mali in 2012, threatening the existence of these precious documents, a remarkable thing happened: a team of librarians and archivists joined forces to spirit the manuscripts into hiding.
Relying on extensive research and firsthand reporting, Charlie English expertly twines these two suspenseful strands into a fascinating account of one of the planet's extraordinary places, and the myths from which it has become inseparable.
A fresh, nuanced look at an extraordinary woman and her lifelong fight for justice. Defying the constraints of her gender and class, Emily Hobhouse travelled across continents and spoke out against oppression. A passionate pacifist and a feminist, she opposed both the 1899-1902 Anglo-Boer War and World War One, leading to accusations of treason. Elsabe Brits travelled in her footsteps to bring to life a colourful story of war, heroism and passion, spanning three continents.
From 1952 to 1981, South Africa's apartheid government ran a school for the training of African art teachers at Indaleni, in what is today KwaZulu-Natal. The Art Of Life In South Africa is about the students, teachers, art, ideas, and politics that led to the school's founding, and which circulated during the years of its existence at a remote former mission station. It is a story of creativity, beauty, and community in twentieth-century South Africa.
Daniel Magaziner radically reframes apartheid-era South African history. Against the dominant narrative of apartheid oppression and black resistance, this book focuses instead on a small group's efforts to fashion more fulfilling lives through the ironic medium of an apartheid-era school.
Lushly illustrated with almost 100 images, this book gives us fully formed lives and remarkable insights into life under segregation and apartheid.
Nomavenda Mathiane stumbled upon her grandmother’s story well over a century after the gruelling events of the Battle of Isandlwana that formed her life. Astounded to hear how her grandmother had survived the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War between the British and Zulu nations as a young girl, Mathiane spent hours with her elder sisters reconstructing the extraordinary life of their grandmother. The result is a sweeping epic of both personal and political battles.
Eyes In The Night is a young Zulu woman’s story of drama, regret, guilt and, ultimately, triumph – set against the backdrop of a Zululand changed beyond recognition.
A true story almost lost, but for a chance remark at a family gathering.
Was coach Heyneke Meyer the reason why the Springboks failed at the 2015 Rugby World Cup? And what does the future have in store for the incumbent coach, Allister Coetzee? Find these answers, and many others, in The Springbok Coaches.
In this new, updated edition of The Poisoned Chalice, rugby writer Gavin Rich takes us past the disappointment of the 2015 Rugby World Cup right up to the appointment of Allister Coetzee in April 2016, and dissects not only the successes and failures of these two Springbok coaches, but of all the post-isolation coaches who preceded them. If all of them agree on one thing, it is that the job goes hand in hand with tremendous pressure and that, at some point, they all buckled under the strain. This book reveals why André Markgraaff and Rudolf Straeuli came up with some of their weird and controversial decisions, why Nick Mallett dropped Gary Teichmann and how he regrets it now, why Harry Viljoen really quit, and why the pressures on Heyneke Meyer made it so much more difficult for the Springboks to win the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
This book chronicles all the post-isolation coaches’ experiences via interviews, articles and stats. From the triumphs to the controversies, the boardroom to the rugby field, this book will reveal exactly what it takes to be the Bok coach, and why each and every one of them had, at some time or another in the toughest job in South African sport, lost it.
A riveting, often revelatory and definitely controversial read!
Choosing a name for your baby has never been easier with this ultimate baby-naming guide.
With all the information on the latest naming trends, this comprehensive and easy-to-use guide is full of inspirational names.
Including modern names and variants, plus classics that have stood the test of time, this naming guide has everything you need for finding the perfect name for your new arrival.
Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Becoming by Michelle Obama.
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America - the first African-American to serve in that role - she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations - and whose story inspires us to do the same.
Ingrid Jonker, begaafde jong digter, loop op 19 Julie 1965 die see in by Drieankerbaai en verdrink. Sy laat haar familie en vriende agter met meer vrae as antwoorde. Gedurende die afgelope 50 jaar het sy ’n ikoon van die Afrikaanse en Suid- Afrikaanse letterkunde geword. In so ’n mate, dat haar lewe en veral haar dood soms haar werk en die belangrike bydrae wat sy tot die literêre beweging van die Sestigers gemaak het, oorskadu.
Haar politieke sieninge, soos uitgedruk in haar poësie en haar passie en die droefheid van haar onstuimige liefdesverhoudings met onder andere Jack Cope en André P. Brink het al tot baie besprekings gelei. Sy het weer onder die publieke oog gekom toe oudpresident Nelson Mandela in sy inhuldigingsrede in 1994 in die Parlement een van haar gedigte aangehaal het. Hy het haar gedig: “Die Kind” voorgelees en gesê: “Sy was beide ’n digter en ’n Suid-Afrikaner.”
Sedert haar dood is daar vele bespiegelings oor haar lewe en tragiese einde. Van dié vrae word beantwoord in hierdie eerste omvattende biografie. Petrovna Metelerkamp doen al jare navorsing oor Jonker. Sy neem die leser saam deur Ingrid se grootwordjare, digterslewe, liefdesverhoudings en die laaste paar jaar van haar lewe.
Metelerkamp bring nuwe inligting aan die lig wat sy neem uit onbekende nuwe briewe en dagboekinskrywings, o.m. uit die dagboeke van Jack Cope. Talle nuwe onderhoude met mense wat Jonker geken het, word in die biografie opgeneem. Sy weerlê ook die beeld van Jonker as ’n ongebalanseerde kunstenaar wat haar houvas op die werklikheid verloor het in hierdie toeganklike biografie oor een van Suid-Afrika se aangrypendste kunstenaars.
Colour Bar is the true story of a love which defied family, Apartheid, and empire - the inspiration for the major new feature film A United Kingdom, starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike.
London, 1945: the heir apparent to the kingship of Bechuanaland (later Botswana) arrives in Britain to complete his legal studies. Seretse Khama, an urbane 24-year-old, educated like Mandela at Fort Hare, is welcomed into the elite world of the Inner Temple in London. But then, in 1947, he does something that will change the course of his life, and that of his country, forcing him into to six long years of exile: he falls in love with a white British woman, Ruth Williams.
Drawing on a mass of previously classified records, Susan Williams tells Seretse and Ruth's story – an astonishing account of how the British Government conspired with apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia to prevent the mixed-race royal couple returning home. This is a shocking account of a shameful period in British history: of overt racism on the streets of London and the corridors of Whitehall, and of appeasement to apartheid South Africa.
But it is also an inspiring, triumphant tale of hope, courage and true love, as with tenacity and great dignity Seretse and Ruth and the Bangwato people overcome prejudice in their fight for justice.
In November 2014, thirteen members of the Biden family gathered on Nantucket for Thanksgiving, a tradition they had been celebrating for the past forty years; it was the one constant in what had become a hectic, scrutinized, and overscheduled life. The Thanksgiving holiday was a time to connect, a time to reflect on what the year had brought, and what the future might hold. But this year felt different from all those that had come before. Joe and Jill Biden's eldest son, Beau, had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor fifteen months earlier, and his survival was uncertain. "Promise Me, Dad" Beau had told his father. "Give me your word that no matter what happens, you’re going to be all right." Joe Biden gave him his word.
Promise Me, Dad chronicles the year that followed, which would be the most momentous and challenging in Joe Biden’s extraordinary life and career. Vice President Biden traveled more than a hundred thousand miles that year, across the world, dealing with crises in Ukraine, Central America, and Iraq. When a call came from New York, or Capitol Hill, or Kyiv, or Baghdad—“Joe, I need your help”—he responded. For twelve months, while Beau fought for and then lost his life, the vice president balanced the twin imperatives of living up to his responsibilities to his country and his responsibilities to his family. And never far away was the insistent and urgent question of whether he should seek the presidency in 2016.
The year brought real triumph and accomplishment, and wrenching pain. But even in the worst times, Biden was able to lean on the strength of his long, deep bonds with his family, on his faith, and on his deepening friendship with the man in the Oval Office, Barack Obama.
Writing with poignancy and immediacy, Joe Biden allows readers to feel the urgency of each moment, to experience the days when he felt unable to move forward as well as the days when he felt like he could not afford to stop.
This is a book written not just by the vice president, but by a father, grandfather, friend, and husband. Promise Me, Dad is a story of how family and friendships sustain us and how hope, purpose, and action can guide us through the pain of personal loss into the light of a new future.
This close media study considers how, squeezed in the moral vice of past and present, Afrikaners look in a mirror that reflects only a beautiful people.
It is an image of upstanding, hard-working citizens. To hold on to that image requires blinkers, sleights of hand and contortion. Above all, it requires an inversion of the liberation narrative in which the wretched of South Africa are the historical oppressors, besieged in their language, their homes, their jobs.
They are the new `grievables', an identity that requires intricate moral manoeuvres, and elision as much of the past as of transformation.
Marianne Thamm delves into her own unconventional life story.
Her German father fought for Hitler and made munitions for Verwoerd. He married her largely illiterate Portuguese mother who worked as a cleaner in England. Today Marianne is the proud mother of two (black) teenagers... Hers is the story of the last century, of the defeat of bigotry and a new era ushered in by Mandela.
Sad at times, deeply moving and, like Marianne, hugely entertaining.
What is it like to be born dirt-poor in South Africa? Clinton Chauke knows, having been raised alongside his two sisters in a remote village bordering the Kruger National Park and a squatter camp outside Pretoria. Clinton is a young village boy when awareness dawns of how poor his family really is: there’s no theft in the village because there’s absolutely nothing to steal. But fire destroys the family hut, and they decide to move back to the city. There he is forced to confront the rough-and-tumble of urban life as a ‘bumpkin’.
He is Venda, whereas most of his classmates speak Zulu or Tswana and he has to face their ridicule while trying to pick up two or more languages as fast as possible. With great self-awareness, Clinton negotiates the pitfalls and lifelines of a young life: crime and drugs, football, religion, friendship, school, circumcision and, ultimately, becoming a man. Throughout it all, he displays determination as well as a self-deprecating humour that will keep you turning the pages till the end.
Clinton’s story is one that will give you hope that even in a sea of poverty there are those that refuse to give up and, ultimately, succeed.
Sapiens showed us where we came from. 21 Lessons guides us through the here and now.
Yuval Noah Harari returns with 21 Lessons For The 21st Century. In bringing his focus to the here and now, Harari will help us to grapple with a world that is increasingly hard to comprehend, encouraging us to focus our minds on the essential questions we should be asking ourselves today.
Employing his trademark entertaining and lucid style, Harari will examine some of the world’s most urgent issues, including terrorism, fake news and immigration, as well as turning to more individual concerns, from resilience and humility to meditation.
Wilfrid Cooper was a rare man during the dark days of apartheid: an advocate whose career coincided almost perfectly with the rise and fall of the Nationalist government, intersecting eerily with that of its “architect” HF Verwoerd, and yet a man whose enlightened principles and liberal thinking saw him regularly defending those less fortunate.
His storied legal career saw him embroiled in numerous political affairs throughout the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. He represented, among others, Verwoerd’s assassin Dimitri Tsafendas; the SWAPO Six in Swakopmund; the families of Imam Abdullah Haron, Mapetla Mohapi and Hoossen Haffajee and others who died “jumping down stairwells while in detention” or hanged by their own jeans in their cells; and Steven Biko and other activists who were arrested by the security police in the dead of night. There were also the highprofile criminal cases, including the original Kebble-style “assisted suicide” of Baron Dieter van Schauroth and the scandalous case of the Scissors Murderess Marlene Lehnberg.
Wilfrid Cooper reached the peak of his considerable legal prowess in a time when South Africans led a parallel existence, the majority downtrodden while white privilege reigned serenely in the suburbs – a time that could have easily provided him a less controversial career had he desired. And yet even as he and his gregarious wife Gertrude enjoyed wonderful and very sociable years in their Newlands home in Cape Town – an area that was itself remodelled under the Group Areas Act – he chose to walk the path less taken in the shadow of Devil’s Peak. This is his story.
THE MILLION COPY BESTSELLER Fire gave us power. Farming made us hungry for more. Money gave us purpose. Science made us deadly. This is the thrilling account of our extraordinary history - from insignificant apes to rulers of the world. Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it: us. In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we're going. `I would recommend Sapiens to anyone who's interested in the history and future of our species' Bill Gates
As kampvegter vir vrouestemreg en in haar uitgesproke teenkanting teen onreg is Emily Hobhouse ’n ikoon wat vandag nog inspireer. Ontdek die onbekende sy van ’n verbasend moderne vrou in hierdie volkleur pragboek propvol foto’s, interessante dagboekinskrywings en briewe. So gee sy ’n genuanseerde, vars blik op ’n buitengewone vrou wat voortdurend in die spervuur was. Van kleintyd het Emily haar verset teen haar lot. Vir vroue was daar min geleenthede en sy moes boonop haar siek pa oppas. Tog raak sy wereldwyd betrokke by die stryd teen onreg en oorlog. In twee oorloe het sy duisende lewens gered, en tog is sy – ’n ware patriot – in haar eie land onbekend en alleen dood.
On a freezing winter's night, a few hours before dawn on 12 May 1969, security police stormed the Soweto home of Winnie Mandela and detained her in the presence of her two young daughters, then aged eight and ten. Rounded up in a group of other anti-apartheid activists under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act, designed for the security police to hold and interrogate people for as long as they wanted, she was taken away. This was the start for Winnie Mandela of a 491-day period of detention and two trials. Forty-one years after her release on 14 September 1970, Greta Soggot, the widow of David Soggot, one of Winnie Mandela's advocates during the 1969/1970 trials, handed her a stack of papers that included a journal and notes that she had written in detention. 491 Days: Prisoner number 1323/69 shares with the world Winnie Mandela's moving and compelling journal as well as some of the letters written between affected parties at the time. Readers gain insight into the brutality she experienced, her depths of despair as well as her resilience and defiance under extreme pressure.
The fall of Robert Mugabe and the inauguration of Emmerson Mnangagwa as Zimbabwe’s new president in November 2017 were events that no one could have predicted. Just three weeks earlier, Mugabe had sacked Mnangagwa as vice-president, a move that seemed to end the long political career of the man known as ‘The Crocodile’.
In the Jaws of the Crocodile tells the gripping story of how Mnangagwa fled Zimbabwe in fear for his life, and of his brief exile in South Africa, where he declared to Mugabe that he would return ‘in a matter of weeks’ to take control of the levers of power. It describes the military intervention against Mugabe and his allies, analyses the sudden power shift within Zanu-PF, and gives an eyewitness account of the mass demonstrations as people took to the streets to demand an end to Mugabe’s rule. It describes Mnangagwa’s return to Zimbabwe to take over the presidency, and concludes with an account of the disputed 2018 election.
Drawing on interviews with Mnangagwa, his family, allies and opponents, and key political figures, this book gives unprecedented insights into the momentous events that changed the fate of a nation.
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