Dec 15, 2009 (091215)
(Reposted from sources cited below)
The most popular of these new books from and about South Africa is
undoubtedly that by John Carlin on Nelson Mandela and the Game
that Made a Nation, now available in two editions as well as in
the newly released Clint Eastwood movie. But probably the one most
in need of greater international attention is the one edited by
Tawana Kupe and colleagues - Go Home or Die Here: Violence,
Xenophobia and the Reinvention of Difference in South Africa. This
photographic and analytic portrayal of the xenophobic violence of
2008 poses fundamental questions about the shape of today's South
Also listed below are a wide range of other recent books which
struck me as ones I would like to read (if I had the time and money
for all of them). But I'm sure AfricaFocus readers can name more
recent books that I should have included. If so, just send a note
to me at email@example.com, and I'll add them to the web version
of this Bulletin.
For earlier book suggestions and CDs, other bulletins in the last
Iris Berger, South Africa in World History http://www.africafocus.org/books/isbn.php?019533793X
The most recent overview of South African history, in a little more
than 200 pages, nevertheless brings the story up to date and
connects history with today's issues.
David Catling, An Elusive Harvest: Working with Smallholder Farmers
in South Africa http://www.africafocus.org/books/isbn.php?1920196102
The strengths and weaknesses of the non-governmental Land
Development Unit, which aimed at supporting disadvantaged farmers.
Written by the leader of the group, which pioneered participatory
methods beginning in the early 1990s but went out of existence in
Okwui Enwezor et al., Home Lands-Land Marks: Contemporary Art from
South Africa http://www.africafocus.org/books/isbn.php?190562025X
Focuses on seven contemporary South African artists - David
Goldblaat, Nicholas Hlobo, William Kentridge, Vivienne Koorland,
Santu Mofokeng, Berni Searlie, and Guy Tillim.
Mark Gevisser, A Legacy of Liberation: Thabo Mbeki and the Future
of the South African Dream http://www.africafocus.org/books/isbn.php?0230611001
Charlayne Hunter-Gault says "no one better explains [Mbeki], how he
got that way, and how it affected his place in the history of South
Africa - old and new - than Mark Gevisser."
Carolyn Hamilton, Bernard Mbenga, Robert Ross, eds., The Cambridge
History of South Africa, volume 1, from Early Times to 1885http://www.africafocus.org/books/isbn.php?052151794X
In addition to the editors, chapter authors include John
Parkington, Simon Hall, John Wright, Martin Legassick, Norman
Etherington, and Paul Landau
Paul Holden, The Arms Deal in Your Pocket http://www.africafocus.org/books/isbn.php?1868423131
376 pages would require a fairly big pocket, but the post-apartheid
arms deal has so many ramifications in South African politics that
it well deserves this detailed account.
David Hostetter, Movement Matters: American Antiapartheid Activism
and the Rise of Multicultural Politics http://www.africafocus.org/books/isbn.php?0415803349
Covers the role of the American Committee on Africa, TransAfrica,
and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). While there are
a number of works that include the first two organizations, this is
one of the few that highlights the important role of the AFSC.
Peter Kagwanja, An Encumbered Regional Power: The Capacity Gap in
South Africa's Peace Diplomacy in Africa http://www.africafocus.org/books/isbn.php?0796922365
"The main focus of this publication is the link between South
Africa's grand pan-African ambitions, especially in the area of
peace, security and governance, and its own capacity to pursue
these objectives." - from publisher's description
Antjie Krog, Nosisi Mpolweni, and Kopano Ratele, There was This Goat:
Investigating the Truth Commission Testimony of Notrose Nobomvu
An in-depth exploration of the different dimensions of one case, by
the renowned author of Country of My Skull and two collaborators.
Tawana Kupe, ed., Go Home or Die Here: Violence, Xenophobia and the
Reinvention of Difference in South Africa http://www.africafocus.org/books/isbn.php?1868144879
This work includes photographs and a range of analytical essays and
journalistic accounts of the violence that erupted in 2008 in
particular against "foreign Africans" in South Africa. The authors,
as did the events, pose fundamental questions about the character
of "post-apartheid" society.
Premesh Lalu, The Deaths of Hintsa: Post-Apartheid South Africa and
the Shape of Recurring Pasts http://www.africafocus.org/books/isbn.php?0796922330
This work features both history and the critical examination of how
history is done in the present as well as the past.
Deon Meyer, Blood Safari http://www.africafocus.org/books/isbn.php?0802119034
The latest novel by South Africa's leading post-apartheid mystery
writer to be translated from Afrikaans. If you like good mystery
novels and thrillers with a nuanced view of society, don't miss
this one featuring bodyguard Martin Lemmer, or Meyer's series with
Cape Town detective Benny Griessel.
Jeanette Ndhlovu, No Time to Mourn http://www.africafocus.org/books/isbn.php?0757560067
The autobiography of long-time anti-apartheid activist Jeanette
Ndhlovu, now completing his term in Los Angeles as South African
Consul General. Her next post will be South African Ambassador to
Ghana. The book tells her story, from Soweto to the University of
Missouri to the South African mission to the UN.
Vasu Reddy, Theo Sandfort, and Laetitia Rispel, eds., From Social
Silence to Social Science: Same-sex Sexuality, HIV & AIDS and
Gender in South Africa http://www.africafocus.org/books/isbn.php?0796922764
An edited collection summarizing current state of knowledge, from
the Human Sciences Research Council.
Alec Russell, After Mandela (in U.S., Bring Me My Machine Gun) http://www.africafocus.org/books/isbn.php?1586487388
[This book] "stands as an informative, nuanced, and provocative
end-of-era report. ..[but] although Russell would agree that the
ANC was always more than one man, even when Mandela was at its
head, his emphasis is on the leader rather than the organization."
- Gillian Slovo
Jeff Sallaz, The Labor of Luck: Casino Capitalism in the United
States and South Africa http://www.africafocus.org/books/isbn.php?0520259491
It's not about Wall Street (though it might be) and it's not by an
economist - it's about real casinos and it's by a sociologist. But
I'll wager you'll be able to find some similarities.
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