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December 6th, 2013

Reading List: Recommended reads on the life and politics of Nelson Mandela

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Blog Admin

December 6th, 2013

Reading List: Recommended reads on the life and politics of Nelson Mandela

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

On December 6th 2013 the world reacted to the news that Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid revolutionary who went on to become South Africa’s first black president, had died. His messages of peace and forgiveness have inspired many, and here we present some recommended reads on his life and politics, and how he has shaped South Africa today.

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External Mission: The ANC in Exile 1960-1990 by Stephen Ellis
Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in February 1990 was one of the most memorable moments of recent decades. It came a few days after the removal of the ban on the African National Congress; founded a century ago and outlawed in 1960, it had transferred its headquarters abroad and opened what it termed an External Mission. For the thirty years following its banning, the ANC had fought relentlessly against the apartheid state. Finally voted into office in 1994, the ANC today regards its armed struggle as the central plank of its legitimacy. Emma Lundin is impressed by External Mission’s study of the ANC’s period in exile. Read more…

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Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War Against Apartheid by Alan Wieder
This biography of Ruth First and Joe Slovo – the husband and wife team who were leaders of the war to end apartheid in South Africa – intertwines documentary record with personal interviews to portray the complexities of this extraordinary couple and their efforts to navigate a time of great tension. Emma Lundin finds that Alan Weider‘s work deserves to be well-read for its insight into the couple’s impact on political developments in South Africa and beyond during the 20th century and their relevance for understanding contemporary events in Southern Africa. Read more…

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Who Rules South Africa? by Martin Plaut and Paul Holden
South Africa is a country poorly understood in the wider world. Martin Plaut and Paul Holden believe that the two main views of the country that persist in the international consciousness – that after the end of apartheid South Africa’s problems were at an end, and that a coterie of criminals is turning it into another Zimbabwe – are both highly inaccurate. Who Rules South Africa? provides a balanced look at the country and points to the real centres of power, which do not include Parliament. Reviewed by Sue Onslow. Read more…

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Apartheid Vertigo: The Rise in Discrimination Against Africans in South Africa by David M. Matsinhe
For centuries, the colour-code shaped state and national ideals, created social and emotional distances between social groups, permeated public and private spheres, and dehumanized Africans of all nationalities in South Africa. Two decades after the demise of official apartheid – and despite four successive black governments – apartheid vertigo still distorts South Africa’s post-colonial reality. Lindsay Harris believes that those who enjoy the works of Zygmunt Bauman and Hannah Arendt will find this an interesting, if somewhat frustrating, read. Read more…

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales
This work by LSE Review of Books is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales.