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In 2016, the country watched as eight journalists stood up to the public broadcaster to dissent against the censorship imposed by COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng and the capture of the newsroom. They would become known as the SABC8. While many may remember the headlines, photos and footage that circulated during that time, few know the real story: the way lives were changed while history was being made.
Now, Foeta Krige, one of the SABC8, shares his version of events: how it came about that eight very different journalists from within the public broadcaster, each with their own unique background and motivation, were brought together by circumstance to fight the mighty SABC in the name of media freedom. This forms the backdrop for a lesser-known story – one of death threats, intimidation, assault and the eventual death of Suna Venter. Her death shocked the nation and baffled investigators. Was it a natural death caused by stress, or were there more sinister forces involved? To understand why her death was red-flagged, it is necessary to retrace her steps and how they converged with those of the seven other journalists.
Krige takes the reader back to the day when everything started, telling the gripping, and often harrowing, story behind the sensational headlines.
The presidential campaign in the USA grabbed the global imagination. It also grabbed the feminist imagination, presenting the hope that if a woman could become the president of the USA, women throughout the world would finally break through the reinforced glass ceiling. However, when it didn’t happen, the lost opportunity became the metaphorical kick in the feminist gut on a global scale. Through the subsequent misogyny, vulgarity, lewd comments, the pussy grabbing video, and the threats of the erosion of feminist activism in the trenches, worldwide a deep mourning arose from the feminist community. It was the name calling of “nasty women” that really smarted. Initial feelings of anger gave rise to empowerment of women — those who talk back to patriarchy — to embrace the label of “nasty women”.
The idea for the collection was born, cradled and nurtured between friends who wanted to create a space for writing and thinking about the marches. The group of feminists who contributed to this collection used the marches and the posters inspired by the marches as a vehicle which galvanised women into action to put pen to paper and show fervour for ongoing feminist activism.
The nexus of this beautifully written and evocatively illustrated collection is telling narratives that link very personal stories with deeply political issues. These are the stories told by nasty women who are making the personal political, who are seeking to live their lives in ways that resist and challenge patriarchy. Through their very intimate nature these are stories that speak to the creation of a different kind of social order, one based on equity, the promotion of human rights and social justice.
"What are democracies meant to do? And how does one know when one is a democratic state?" These incisive questions and more by leading political scientist, Steven Friedman, underlie this robust enquiry into what democracy means for South Africa post 1994.
Democracy and its prospects are often viewed through a lens which reflects the dominant Western understanding. New democracies are compared to idealised notions of the way in which the system is said to operate in the global North. The democracies of Western Europe and North America are understood to be the finished product and all others are assessed by how far they have progressed towards approximating this model. The goal of new democracies, like South Africa and other developing nation-states, is thus to become like the global North.
Power in Action persuasively argues against this stereotype. Friedman asserts that democracies can only work when every adult has an equal say in the public decisions that affect them. From this point of view, democracies are not finished products and some nations in the global South may be more democratic than their Northern counterparts. Democracy is achieved not by adopting idealised models derived from other societies – rather, it is the product of collective action by citizens who claim the right to be heard not only through public protest action, but also through the conscious exercise of influence on public and private power holders.
Viewing democracy in this way challenges us to develop a deeper understanding of democracy’s challenges and in so doing to ensure that more citizens can claim a say over more decisions in society.
South Africa achieved notoriety for its apartheid policies and practices both in the country and in Namibia. Today Israel stands accused of applying apartheid in the Palestinian territories it has occupied since 1967. Confronting Apartheid examines the regimes of these three societies from the perspective of the author’s experiences as a human rights lawyer in South Africa and Namibia and as a UN human rights envoy in occupied Palestine.
Most personal histories of apartheid in Southern Africa tell the story of the armed struggle. This book is about opposition to apartheid within the law and through the law. The successes and failures of civil society and lawyers in this endeavour are described in the context of the discriminatory and oppressive regime of apartheid. The author’s own experiences in Namibia and South Africa serve to illustrate the injustices of the regime and the avenues left to lawyers to advance human rights within the law. The end of apartheid and the transition to democracy are also described through the experiences of the author.
The book concludes with an account of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank and the author’s work as human rights investigator and reporter for the United Nations. This involves the examination of issues such as the construction of Jewish settlements, the demolition of Palestinian homes, the restrictions on freedom of movement and the attacks on the life and liberty of Palestinians which the author argues constitute an oppressive regime falling within the definition of apartheid under international law. A separate chapter is devoted to the situation in Gaza which was closely monitored by the author for nearly a decade. Namibia, South Africa and Palestine are dealt with separately with introductions designed to ensure that the reader is provided with the necessary historical, political and legal background material.
The issue of land rights is an ongoing and complex topic of debate for South Africans. Rights to Land comes at a time when land redistribution by government is underway. This book seeks to understand the issues around land rights and distribution of land in South Africa and proposes that new policies and processes should be developed and adopted. It further provides an analysis of what went so wrong, and warns that a new phase of restitution may ignite conflicting ethnic claims and facilitate elite capture of land and rural resources.
While there are no quick fixes, the first phase of restitution should be completed and the policy then curtailed. The book argues that land ownership and administration is important to rural democracy and that this should not be placed under the control of traditionalist intermediaries. Land restitution, initiated in 1994, was an important response to the injustices of the apartheid era. But it was intended as a limited and short-term process – initially to be completed in five years.
It may continue for decades, creating uncertainty and undermining investment into agriculture.
In Sorry, Not Sorry, Haji Mohamed Dawjee explores the often maddening experience of moving through postapartheid South Africa as a woman of colour.
In characteristically candid style, Dawjee pulls no punches when examining the social landscape: from arguing why she’d rather deal with an open racist than some liberal white people, to drawing on her own experience to convince readers that joining a cult is never a good idea. In the provocative voice that has made Dawjee one of our country’s most talked-about columnists, she offers observations laced throughout with an acerbic wit.
Sorry, Not Sorry will make readers laugh, wince, nod, introspect and argue.
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.
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.
Priscilla Jana is a legendary figure in South African revolutionary politics. As an Indian woman who had experienced racial oppression first-hand, she decided to use her degree in law to fight for the rights of her fellow people and do all she could to bring down the Apartheid state - who saw her as a very real threat. At one time she represented every single political prisoner on Robben Island, including both the late Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie. Priscilla spent her days in court, fighting human rights case after human rights case, but it was at night when her real work was done. As part of an underground cell, she fought tirelessly to bring down the hated government. This activism, however, came at a price. One of South Africa's infamous 'banned persons', for five years Priscilla was unable to take part in any political activities, enter any place where a large number of people were gathered, and had her movements severely restricted. Worse, her own home was attacked with petrol bombs on multiple occasions. Undeterred, Priscilla Jana continued her work, even adopting the baby daughter of a client imprisoned on Robben Island, bringing here up, educating her, and providing a loving home. Finally, upon Mandela's release and the political revolution of her beloved country, Priscilla's work was rewarded, as she was elected as a member of South Africa's first democratic parliament. Later, she was to become an ambassador to both The Netherlands and Ireland. Now retired and living in Cape Town, Priscilla still works and waits for her most fervent desire: the true healing and unification of South Africa.
Women’s bodies and rights, and performances of femininity and masculinity often form the battleground of debates of multiculturalism and accommodation of cultural rights in both hemispheres.
Tensions of culture and rights may not be the same everywhere. An interesting point of comparison is in the treatment of liberalism often assumed in the global North to be the universal norms to be defended, whereas in the global South, liberalism itself may be viewed as the problem. Colonial histories are fraught with discriminatory legislation aimed at accommodating indigenous populations, in some cases reinforcing misogynist readings of indigenous or minority cultures and providing a trade-oﬀ for more structural redistributive justice through, for example, land reform.
This book shows how varied and complex the embodiment of multiculturalism as a political practice, or policy discourse in different political contexts, can be, and how often the outcome of multicultural discourses creates a binary between culture and universal human rights. The aim of Gender And Multiculturalism is to engage with dislodging this binary.
A Manifesto For Social Change is the third of a three-volume series that started seven years ago investigating the causes of our country’s – and the continent’s – development obstacles.
Architects of Poverty: Why African Capitalism Needs Changing (2009) set out to explain what role African elites played in creating and promoting their fellow Africans’ misery. Advocates for Change: How to Overcome Africa’s Challenges (2011) set out to show that there were short-term to medium-term solutions to many of Africa’s and South Africa’s problems, from agriculture to healthcare, if only the powers that be would take note. And now, more than 20 years after the advent of democracy, we have A Manifesto For Social Change: How To Save South Africa, the conclusion in the ‘trilogy’.
This book started its life as Gridlocked, but through the process of research undertaken by Moeletsi and Nobantu it has evolved into a different project, a manifesto that identifies some of South Africa’s key problems and what is required to change the country’s downward trajectory.
The congress of the people – where the freedom charter was formally approved by several thousand delegates – was held over the weekend of 25–26 June 1955 in an open field in Kliptown, south of Johannesburg. It was a colourful and dramatic affair. For Ellen Lambert the CoP was seen as “the day of liberation like Martin Luther’s meeting where he gave the ‘I have a dream’ speech. The official report of the National action council that coordinated the entire campaign stated that there were 2 844 delegates representing all the most important urban centres, with approximately 300 delegates from Natal, 250 from the Eastern and Western Cape, 50 from the OFS and the rest came from the Transvaal, mainly from Johannesburg. The CoP opened under the chairmanship of Dr W Conco with a prayer by Reverend Gawe and a speech delivered on behalf of Chief Albert Luthuli, who could not attend because of his banning order. This was followed by the presentation of the Isitwalandwe – an honour of a bird feather conferred on distinguished sons of the Xhosa people – to Chief Albert Luthuli, Dr Yusuf Dadoo and Father Trevor Huddleston “in recognition of their work to build a better life in our country, founded upon democracy and equality”. After this each clause of the Freedom Charter was motivated by various speakers as listed below; limited discussion and comments were elicited from the delegates, and the clause was adopted by a show of hands: Preamble of the Freedom Charter – Alfred Hutchinson; The people shall govern – NT Naicker; All national groups shall have equal rights – Dr Letele; The people shall share in the country’s wealth – Ben Turok; The land shall be shared amongst those who work it – TE Tshunungwa; All shall be equal before the law – Dr A Sader; All shall enjoy equal human rights – Sonya Bunting; There shall be work and security – Leslie Masina; The doors of learning and culture shall be opened – Es’kia Mphahlele.
George Bizos is one of a distinguished group of human rights lawyers who in the dark days of apartheid sought to uncover the state's role in eliminating its opponents.
Some, like Biko, Timol and Aggett, were arrested and died in detention, while others, like Matthew Goniwe, were abducted and killed. As counsel for the families of the deceased, George Bizos was centrally involved in many of the inquests following these high-profile deaths.
He is thus well placed to tell the story of the great courtroom dramas in which, with devastating skill, he and his colleagues pared away the tissue of lies protecting the security forces and the state functionaries—only to be rewarded with the invariable finding that there was 'no one to blame'.
The killing of thirty-four miners by police at Marikana in August 2012 was the largest massacre of civilians in South Africa since Sharpeville. The events have been covered in newspaper articles, on TV news and in a commission of inquiry, but there is still confusion about what happened on that fateful day.
In Murder At Small Koppie, renowned photojournalist Greg Marinovich explores the truth behind the Marikana massacre. He investigates the shootings near Wonderkop hill, which happened in view of the media, as well as the killings that happened beyond the view of cameras at a nondescript collection of boulders known as Small Koppie, some 300 metres away. Many of the men killed here were shot in cold blood at close range. Drawing on his own meticulous research, eyewitness accounts and the findings of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, Marinovich accurately reconstructs that fateful day as well as the events leading up to the strike, and looks at the subsequent denials, obfuscation and buck-passing by Lonmin, the SAPS and the government.
This is the definitive account of the Marikana massacre from the journalist whose award-winning investigation into the tragedy has been called the most important piece of South African journalism since apartheid.
Across the world, 2 billion people experience menstruation, yet menstruation is seen as a mark of shame. We are told not to discuss it in public, that tampons and sanitary pads should be hidden away, the blood rendered invisible. In many parts of the world, poverty, culture and religion collide causing the taboo around menstruation to have grave consequences. Younger people who menstruate are deterred from going to school, adults from work, infections are left untreated. The shame is universal and the silence a global rule. In It's Only Blood Anna Dahlqvist tells the shocking but always moving stories of why and how people from Sweden to Bangladesh, from the United States to Uganda, are fighting back against the shame.
The riveting memoirs of the outstanding moral and political leader of our time, A LONG WALK TO FREEDOM brilliantly re-creates the drama of the experiences that helped shape Nelson Mandela's destiny. Emotive, compelling and uplifting, A LONG WALK TO FREEDOM is the exhilarating story of an epic life; a story of hardship, resilience and ultimate triumph told with the clarity and eloquence of a born leader.
Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country.
Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa's antiapartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality.
Long Walk To Freedom is his moving autobiography, in which he tells the extraordinary story of his life - an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph!
The Struggle Continues is a “searing, heartfelt, brutally honest account of the turbulent modern history of Zimbabwe” (Douglas Rogers author of The Last Resort).
This autobiographical political history since the 1950s deals with an era of great turbulence from the perspective a person who has been at the centre of the great Zimbabwean drama for over 30 years, David Coltart.
It is set to be the most authoritative book to date of the last sixty years of Zimbabwe’s history, described by the doyenne of Southern African journalists, Peta Thornycroft, as “a masterpiece”: from the obstinate racism of Ian Smith that provoked Rhodesia’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Britain in 1965, to the civil war of the 1970s, the Gukurahundi genocide of the 1980s, the land invasions of the 2000s, Robert Mugabe’s Murambatsvina war on poor urban dwellers in 2005, and the struggles waged by the MDC in confronting a brutal regime.
Land reform is once again under the spotlight. Amidst calls by some politicians for confiscating land from white farmers without compensation, others claim that the land redistributed to black owners is not being productively farmed. The debate is dangerously polarised, the stakes high. At the same time new challenges confront policy-makers: climate change, threats to bio-diversity, urbanisation, high unemployment, food security, and global economic uncertainties.
2013 was the centenary of South Africa's notorious Natives Land Act, whose effects are still evident in the country's divided countryside and deeply racialised inequalities. 2014 is the deadline that the ANC government set for itself of redistributing 30 per cent of commercial agricultural land into black ownership. All agree that the target cannot be met, but there is little agreement on what is the best way forward. 2014 is also the twentieth anniversary of the founding of democracy.
Building on the public debates generated by the centenary of the 1913 Land Act, this book presents a major opportunity to review the contemporary significance of land as a social, economic and natural resource in South Africa - to pose new questions and search for new answers.
The Misery Merchants is a hard-hitting exposé of G4S, the company running one of South Africa’s private prisons in Mangaung. Hopkins presents up-close encounters with the gangs who run the prisons, and a unique insight into the minds of the men on the torture squad, who doused inmates with water before electrocuting them, and in some cases, strapped down ‘unruly’ prisoners and forced anti-psychotic medicines into their systems.
In the Free State of Ace Magashule, both the gangs and the prison bosses competed to run Mangaung Prison, one of South Africa’s few private prisons. Torture and forced medication were the order of the day. Hopkins, a seasoned journalist, has interviewed over 100 prisoners and many prison warders in order to understand what makes this prison so dysfunctional. Her insights and revelations will astonish you.
This book follows several characters who were held in or worked at the prison. L. is a prison gang general and an advocate for prisoners’ rights. He smuggled information on assaults, injections and corruption out of the prison for the author. Dan is a prison guard and a shop steward for the union. He led the workforce during two strikes and paid for it with his job and union membership. Setlai is a Department of Correctional Services official who blew the whistle on the abuse at Mangaung Prison in 2009. His reports were ignored and he was punished for speaking out. He was criminally charged and moved to another DCS post. Shakes is a member of the Emergency Security Team (EST) also known as the Ninjas. He engaged in torture and abuse but now feels ‘what we did was wrong’.
G4S is the largest security company in the world, and has its claws deep in SA’s government and private companies. Drive down any street and you’ll find a G4S van collecting or delivering money.
When Chris Hani, leader of the South African Communist Party and heir apparent to Nelson Mandela, was brutally slain in his driveway in April 1993, he left a shocked and grieving South Africa on the precipice of civil war. But to 12-year-old Lindiwe, it was the love of her life, her daddy, who had been shockingly ripped from her life. In this intimate and brutally honest memoir, 36-year-old Lindiwe remembers the years she shared with her loving father, and the toll that his untimely death took on the Hani family. She lays family skeletons bare and brings to the fore her own downward spiral into cocaine and alcohol addiction, a desperate attempt to avoid the pain of his brutal parting.
While the nation continued to revere and honour her father’s legacy, for Lindiwe, being Chris Hani’s daughter became an increasingly heavy burden to bear.
"For as long as I can remember, I’d grown up feeling that I was the daughter of Chris Hani and that I was useless. My father was such a huge figure, such an icon to so many people, it felt like I could never be anything close to what he achieved – so why even try? Of course my addiction to booze and cocaine just made me feel my worthlessness even more".
In a stunning turnaround, she faces her demons, not just those that haunted her through her addiction, but, with the courage that comes with sobriety, she comes face to face with her father’s two killers – Janus Walus, still incarcerated, and Clive Derby Lewis, released in 2015 on medical parole. In a breathtaking twist of humanity, while searching for the truth behind her father’s assassination, Lindiwe Hani ultimately makes peace with herself and honours her father’s gigantic spirit.
'Essential reading for anyone interested in Turkey and its future.' Literary Review 'Essential reading full stop.' Peter Frankopan 'It is a must.' The Times Who is Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and how did he lead a democracy on the fringe of Europe into dictatorship? How has chaos in the Middle East blown back over Turkey's borders? And why doesn't the West just cut Erdogan and his regime off? Hannah Lucinda Smith has been living in Turkey as the Times correspondent for nearly a decade, reporting on the ground from the onset of the Arab Spring through terrorist attacks, mass protests, civil war, unprecedented refugee influx and the explosive, bloody 2016 coup attempt that threatened to topple - and kill - Erdogan. Erdogan Rising introduces Turkey as a vital country, one that borders and buffers Western Europe, the Middle East and the old Soviet Union, marshals the second largest army in NATO and hosts more refugees than any other nation. As president, Erdogan is the face of devotion and division, a leader who mastered macho divide-and-rule politics a decade and a half before Donald Trump cottoned on, and has used it to lead his country into spiralling authoritarianism. Yet Erdogan is no ordinary dictator. His elections are won only by slivers, and Turkey remains defined by its two warring cults: those who worship Erdogan, the wilful Muslim nationalist with a tightening authoritarian grip, and those who stand behind Ataturk, the secularist, westward-looking leader who founded the republic and remains its best loved icon - now eighty years dead. Erdogan commands a following so devoted they compose songs in his honour, adorn their homes with his picture, and lay down their lives to keep him in power. Erdogan Rising asks how this century's most successful populist won his position, and where Turkey is headed next.
'Topical, engaging, personable, and above all, reassuring' Dr. Jordan B. Peterson From host of The Rubin Report, the most-watched talk show about free speech and big ideas on YouTube right now, a roadmap for free thinking in an increasingly censored world. The left is no longer liberal. Once on the side of free speech and tolerance, progressives now ban speakers from college campuses, "cancel" people who aren't up to date on the latest genders, and force religious people to violate their conscience. They have abandoned the battle of ideas and have begun fighting a battle of feelings. This uncomfortable truth has turned moderates and true liberals into the politically homeless class. Dave Rubin launched his political talk show The Rubin Report in 2015 as a meeting ground for free thinkers who realize that partisan politics is a dead end. He hosts people he both agrees and disagrees with--including those who have been dismissed, deplatformed, and despised--taking on the most controversial issues of our day. As a result, he's become a voice of reason in a time of madness. Now, Rubin gives you the tools you need to think for yourself in an age when tribal outrage is the only available alternative. Based on his own story as well as his experiences from the front lines of the free speech wars, this book will empower you to make up your own mind about what you believe on any issue and teach you the fine art of: Checking your facts, not your privilege, when it comes to today's most pervasive myths, from the wage gap and gun violence to climate change and hate crimes. Standing up to the mob against today's absurd PC culture, when differences of opinion can bring relationships, professional or personal, to a sudden end. Defending classically liberal principles such as individual rights and limited government, because freedom is impossible without them. The Progressive Woke Machine is waging war against the last free thinkers in the world. Don't Burn This Book is the definitive account of our current political upheaval and your guide to surviving it.
The 2020 edition of the best-selling series includes the complete testable materials from Life in the United Kingdom: A guide for new residents, the official Home Office materials. Passing the Life in the UK test is a compulsory requirement for anyone wanting to live permanently in Britain or become a British citizen. This practical study guide makes preparing for the test a lot easier. The new edition includes: A new foreword from Professor Thom Brooks, a leading expert on British citizenship. Updated advice on specific question formats and clear advice on how to avoid common mistakes. Focus points to help target your studies. Completely revised and expanded practice tests, based on customer feedback and the direct experience of our editors. This means we offer accurate and up-to-date advice on what the test is really like. Clear and easy to understand diagrams illustrating complex topics. Key advice from successful students and FAQs. The 2020 edition includes advice on what to study, the kinds of questions to expect and unique study aids. Our appendices help students develop the comprehensive understanding they will need to pass the test. This book offers detailed advice on the types of question you will be asked in the official test. Purchasers also get a free subscription to online practice tests at www.lifeintheuk.net, along with up-to-date news and information. This book provides students with everything required to help them pass their test with confidence. The latest official materials Expert and independent study advice Practice questions, including a FREE subscription to www.lifeintheuk.net
'A formidable, brave and important book' Robert Macfarlane Who owns England? Behind this simple question lies this country's oldest and best-kept secret. This is the history of how England's elite came to own our land, and an inspiring manifesto for how to open up our countryside once more. This book has been a long time coming. Since 1086, in fact. For centuries, England's elite have covered up how they got their hands on millions of acres of our land, by constructing walls, burying surveys and more recently, sheltering behind offshore shell companies. But with the dawn of digital mapping and the Freedom of Information Act, it's becoming increasingly difficult for them to hide. Trespassing through tightly-guarded country estates, ecologically ravaged grouse moors and empty Mayfair mansions, writer and activist Guy Shrubsole has used these 21st century tools to uncover a wealth of never-before-seen information about the people who own our land, to create the most comprehensive map of land ownership in England that has ever been made public. From secret military islands to tunnels deep beneath London, Shrubsole unearths truths concealed since the Domesday Book about who is really in charge of this country - at a time when Brexit is meant to be returning sovereignty to the people. Melding history, politics and polemic, he vividly demonstrates how taking control of land ownership is key to tackling everything from the housing crisis to climate change - and even halting the erosion of our very democracy. It's time to expose the truth about who owns England - and finally take back our green and pleasant land.
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