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Ever since Nelson Mandela dramatically walked out of prison in 1990 after twenty-seven years behind bars, South Africa has been undergoing a radical transformation. In one of the most miraculous events of the century, the oppressive system of apartheid was dismantled. Repressive laws mandating separation of the races were thrown out. The country, which had been carved into a crazy quilt that reserved the most prosperous areas for whites and the most desolate and backward for blacks, was reunited. The dreaded and dangerous security force, which for years had systematically tortured, spied upon, and harassed people of color and their white supporters, was dismantled. But how could this country--one of spectacular beauty and promise--come to terms with its ugly past? How could its people, whom the oppressive white government had pitted against one another, live side by side as friends and neighbors?

To begin the healing process, Nelson Mandela created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, headed by the renowned cleric Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Established in 1995, the commission faced the awesome task of hearing the testimony of the victims of apartheid as well as the oppressors. Amnesty was granted to those who offered a full confession of any crimes associated with apartheid. Since the commission began its work, it has been the central player in a drama that has riveted the country. In this book, Antjie Krog, a South African journalist and poet who has covered the work of the commission, recounts the drama, the horrors, the wrenching personal stories of the victims and their families. Through the testimonies of victims of abuse and violence, from the appearance of Winnie Mandela to former South African president P. W. Botha's extraordinary courthouse press conference, this award-winning poet leads us on an amazing journey.

Country of My Skull captures the complexity of the Truth Commission's work. The narrative is often traumatic, vivid, and provocative. Krog's powerful prose lures the reader actively and inventively through a mosaic of insights, impressions, and secret themes. This compelling tale is Antjie Krog's profound literary account of the mending of a country that was in colossal need of change.
One of NPR's Great Reads of 2018 An unforgettable portrait of one of the most inspiring historical figures of the twentieth century, published on the centenary of his birth.

Arrested in 1962 as South Africa’s apartheid regime intensified its brutal campaign against political opponents, forty-four-year-old lawyer and African National Congress activist Nelson Mandela had no idea that he would spend the next twenty-seven years in jail. During his 10,052 days of incarceration, the future leader of South Africa wrote a multitude of letters to unyielding prison authorities, fellow activists, government officials, and, most memorably, to his courageous wife, Winnie, and his five children. Now, 255 of these letters, many of which have never been published, provide exceptional insight into how Mandela maintained his inner spirits while living in almost complete isolation, and how he engaged with an outside world that became increasingly outraged by his plight.

Organized chronologically and divided by the four venues in which he was held as a sentenced prisoner, The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela begins in Pretoria Local Prison, where Mandela was held following his 1962 trial. In 1964, Mandela was taken to Robben Island Prison, where a stark existence was lightened only by visits and letters from family. After eighteen years, Mandela was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison, a large complex outside of Cape Town with beds and better food, but where he and four of his comrades were confined to a rooftop cell, apart from the rest of the prison population. Finally, Mandela was taken to Victor Verster Prison in 1988, where he was held until his release on February 11, 1990.

With accompanying facsimiles of some of his actual letters, this landmark volume reveals how Mandela, a lawyer by training, advocated for prisoners’ human rights. It reveals him to be a loving father, who wrote to his daughter, “I sometimes wish science could invent miracles and make my daughter get her missing birthday cards and have the pleasure of knowing that her Pa loves her,” aware that photos and letters he sent had simply disappeared.

More painful still are the letters written in 1969, when Mandela—forbidden from attending the funerals of his mother and his son Thembi—was reduced to consoling family members through correspondence. Yet, what emerges most powerfully is Mandela’s unfaltering optimism: “Honour belongs to those who never forsake the truth even when things seem dark & grim, who try over and & over again, who are never discouraged by insults, humiliation & even defeat.”

Whether providing unwavering support to his also-imprisoned wife or outlining a human-rights philosophy that resonates today, The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela reveals the heroism of a man who refused to compromise his moral values in the face of extraordinary punishment. Ultimately, these letters position Mandela as one of the most inspiring figures of the twentieth century.

 

From The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela

 

“A new world will be won not by those who stand at a distance with their arms folded, but by those who are in the arena, whose garments are torn by storms & whose bodies are maimed in the course of contest.”

“I am convinced that floods of personal disaster can never drown a determined revolutionary nor can the cumulus of misery that accompanies tragedy suffocate him.”

“My respect for human beings is based, not on the colour of a man’s skin nor authority he may wield, but purely on merit.”

“A good pen can also remind us of the happiest moments in our lives, bring noble ideas into our dens, our blood & our souls. It can turn tragedy into hope & victory.”

This game situates students in the Multiparty Negotiating Process taking place at the World Trade Center in Kempton Park in 1993. South Africa is facing tremendous social anxiety and violence. The object of the talks, and of the game, is to reach consensus for a constitution that will guide a post-apartheid South Africa. The country has immense racial diversity--white, black, Colored, Indian. For the negotiations, however, race turns out to be less critical than cultural, economic, and political diversity. Students are challenged to understand a complex landscape and to navigate a surprising web of alliances.

The game focuses on the problem of transitioning a society conditioned to profound inequalities and harsh political repression into a more democratic, egalitarian system. Students will ponder carefully the meaning of democracy as a concept and may find that justice and equality are not always comfortable partners with liberty. While for the majority of South Africans, universal suffrage was a symbol of new democratic beginnings, it seemed to threaten the lives, families, and livelihoods of minorities and parties outside the African National Congress coalition. These deep tensions in the nature of democracy pose important questions about the character of justice and the best mechanisms for reaching national decisions.

Free supplementary materials for this textbook are available at the Reacting to the Past website. Visit https://reacting.barnard.edu/instructor-resources, click on the RTTP Game Library link, and create a free account to download what is available.

In 1899 while serving in the 2nd Boer War, Robert Baden-Powell penned his sixth military book, Aids To Scouting. It was a non-typical training manual filled with personal stories of intrigue and even games. Its goal was to encourage the development of light reconnaissance scouting skills within the British Army. The book was well received by various armies of its time, including the French Army.

His successful defense of Mafeking (1899-1900) in South Africa made Baden-Powell a well-known national hero in Britain. But what completely surprised Baden-Powell was that his book was eagerly taken up by teachers and youth groups to help organize outdoor activities and sport. He eventually embraced the idea of adapting his work into a new youth-oriented book, Scouting for Boys (1908) which went on to sell approx. 150 million copies to date. It was that follow-on book that firmly launched the international Boy Scouts movement.

Aids to Scouting contains sections on the characters of a scout, as well as practical advice on observation, stealth/camouflage, map reading, sketching, tracking, reporting and care of horses. It presents these topics is a simple conversational style that makes it easy to read, and is illustrated with personal anecdotes of military adventures by the author. It gives scholars clear insights into his mindset and beliefs that served him well in the siege of Mafeking and shows a clear lineage to the formation of the tenets of his formation of the Boy Scouts. Anyone interested in the history of Boy Scouting will definitely want to read this interesting and formative book.
(NOTE - Appendix C contents is missing in this Kindle version - but we hope to update the ebook with it once a suitable facsimile can be referenced).
 
The question was: would he hang? In 1963, when South Africa's apartheid government charged Nelson Mandela with planning its overthrow, most observers feared that he would be sentenced to death. But the support he and his fellow activists in the African National Congress received during his trial not only saved his life, but also enabled him to save his country. In Saving Nelson Mandela, South African law expert Kenneth S. Broun recreates the trial, called the "Rivonia" Trial after the Johannesburg suburb where police seized Mandela. Based upon interviews with many of the case's primary figures and portions of the trial transcript, Broun situates readers inside the courtroom at the imposing Palace of Justice in Pretoria. Here, the trial unfolds through a dramatic narrative that captures the courage of the accused and their defense team, as well as the personal prejudices that colored the entire trial. The Rivonia trial had no jury and only a superficial aura of due process, combined with heavy security that symbolized the apartheid government's system of repression. Broun shows how outstanding advocacy, combined with widespread public support, in fact backfired on apartheid leaders, who sealed their own fate. Despite his 27-year incarceration, Mandela's ultimate release helped move his country from the racial tyranny of apartheid toward democracy. As documented in this inspirational book, the Rivonia trial was a critical milestone that helped chart the end of Apartheid and the future of a new South Africa.
The democratic election of Nelson Mandela as president of South Africa in 1994 marked the demise of apartheid and the beginning of a new struggle to define the nation’s past. History after Apartheid analyzes how, in the midst of the momentous shift to an inclusive democracy, South Africa’s visual and material culture represented the past while at the same time contributing to the process of social transformation. Considering attempts to invent and recover historical icons and narratives, art historian Annie E. Coombes examines how strategies for embodying different models of historical knowledge and experience are negotiated in public culture—in monuments, museums, and contemporary fine art.

History after Apartheid explores the dilemmas posed by a wide range of visual and material culture including key South African heritage sites. How prominent should Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress be in the museum at the infamous political prison on Robben Island? How should the postapartheid government deal with the Voortrekker Monument mythologizing the Boer Trek of 1838? Coombes highlights the contradictory investment in these sites among competing constituencies and the tensions involved in the rush to produce new histories for the “new” South Africa.

She reveals how artists and museum officials struggled to adequately represent painful and difficult histories ignored or disavowed under apartheid, including slavery, homelessness, and the attempted destruction of KhoiSan hunter-gatherers. Describing how contemporary South African artists address historical memory and the ambiguities uncovered by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Coombes illuminates a body of work dedicated to the struggle to simultaneously remember the past and move forward into the future.

Justine van der Leun reopens the murder of a young American woman in South Africa, an iconic case that calls into question our understanding of truth and reconciliation, loyalty, justice, race, and class—a gripping investigation in the vein of the podcast Serial

“Timely . . . gripping, explosive . . . the kind of obsessive forensic investigation—of the clues, and into the soul of society—that is the legacy of highbrow sleuths from Truman Capote to Janet Malcolm.”—The New York Times Book Review

The story of Amy Biehl is well known in South Africa: The twenty-six-year-old white American Fulbright scholar was brutally murdered on August 25, 1993, during the final, fiery days of apartheid by a mob of young black men in a township outside Cape Town. Her parents’ forgiveness of two of her killers became a symbol of the Truth and Reconciliation process in South Africa. Justine van der Leun decided to introduce the story to an American audience. But as she delved into the case, the prevailing narrative started to unravel. Why didn’t the eyewitness reports agree on who killed Amy Biehl? Were the men convicted of the murder actually responsible for her death? And then van der Leun stumbled upon another brutal crime committed on the same day, in the very same area. The true story of Amy Biehl’s death, it turned out, was not only a story of forgiveness but a reflection of the complicated history of a troubled country.

We Are Not Such Things is the result of van der Leun’s four-year investigation into this strange, knotted tale of injustice, violence, and compassion. The bizarre twists and turns of this case and its aftermath—and the story that emerges of what happened on that fateful day in 1993 and in the decades that followed—come together in an unsparing account of life in South Africa today. Van der Leun immerses herself in the lives of her subjects and paints a stark, moving portrait of a township and its residents. We come to understand that the issues at the heart of her investigation are universal in scope and powerful in resonance. We Are Not Such Things reveals how reconciliation is impossible without an acknowledgment of the past, a lesson as relevant to America today as to a South Africa still struggling with the long shadow of its history.

“A masterpiece of reported nonfiction . . . Justine van der Leun’s account of a South African murder is destined to be a classic.”—Newsday
In this book, renowned anthropologists Jean and John L. Comaroff make a startling but absolutely convincing claim about our modern era: it is not by our arts, our politics, or our science that we understand ourselves—it is by our crimes. Surveying an astonishing range of forms of crime and policing—from petty thefts to the multibillion-dollar scams of too-big-to-fail financial institutions to the collateral damage of war—they take readers into the disorder of the late modern world. Looking at recent transformations in the triangulation of capital, the state, and governance that have led to an era where crime and policing are ever more complicit, they offer a powerful meditation on the new forms of sovereignty, citizenship, class, race, law, and political economy of representation that have arisen.

To do so, the Comaroffs draw on their vast knowledge of South Africa, especially, and its struggle to build a democracy founded on the rule of law out of the wreckage of long years of violence and oppression. There they explore everything from the fascination with the supernatural in policing to the extreme measures people take to prevent home invasion, drawing illuminating comparisons to the United States and United Kingdom. Going beyond South Africa, they offer a global criminal anthropology that attests to criminality as the constitutive fact of contemporary life, the vernacular by which politics are conducted, moral panics voiced, and populations ruled.

The result is a disturbing but necessary portrait of the modern era, one that asks critical new questions about how we see ourselves, how we think about morality, and how we are going to proceed as a global society.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: South Africa is your in-depth guide to the very best of South Africa. From exploring the Palace of the Lost City to seeing the "Big Five" on safari in Kruger National Park to experiencing the multifaceted culture of a country with 11 official languages, visiting the "Rainbow Nation" is an adventure you will never forget.
To help you make the most of your adventure, this guidebook includes a field guide to South Africa's wildlife and the safari experience with detailed information on safaris, wildlife preserves, and local species.
Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: South Africa:
Detailed itineraries and "don't-miss" destination highlights at a glance.
Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights.
Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums.
Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area.
Area maps marked with sights .
Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights.
Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations.
With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: South Africa truly shows you this country as no one else can.
Recommend: For a pocket guidebook to Cape Town, check out DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Cape Town & the Winelands, which is packed with dozens of top 10 lists, ensuring you make the most of your time and experience the best of everything.
A “stunning blend of reportage, travelogue, history and meditation” by the New York Times–bestselling author of King Leopold’s Ghost (Publishers Weekly).

National Book Award finalist Adam Hochschild brings a lifetime’s familiarity with South Africa to bear in this eye-opening examination of a critical turning point in that nation’s history: the Great Trek of 1836–39, during which Dutch-speaking white settlers, known as Boers, journeyed deep into the country’s interior to escape the British colonial administration.
 
The mass migration culminated with the massacre of indigenous Zulus in the 1838 Battle of Blood River. Looking at the tensions of modern South Africa through the dramatic prism of the nineteenth century, Hochschild vividly recreates the battle—and its contentious commemoration by rival groups 150 years later. In his epilogue, Hochschild extends his view to the astonishing political changes that have occurred in the country in recent decades—and the changes yet to be made.
 
Hochschild’s incisive take on these events, noted Nadine Gordimer, “is far more than an outsider’s perception of the drama of our country. Read him, in particular, to understand the rise of white extremism which is threatening the democratic vision of the African National Congress and its allied progressive constituency among people of all colors.”
 
“A good book for anyone who wants a succinct and precise account of how this fascinating country has got where it is. . . . This is a book I recommend warmly.” —Archbishop Desmond Tutu
 
“One of the most illuminating books ever written on contemporary South Africa.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“Thoroughly researched, immensely readable . . . A work of vivid reportage and astute political analysis.” —San Francisco Chronicle
Contested Histories in Public Space brings multiple perspectives to bear on historical narratives presented to the public in museums, monuments, texts, and festivals around the world, from Paris to Kathmandu, from the Mexican state of Oaxaca to the waterfront of Wellington, New Zealand. Paying particular attention to how race and empire are implicated in the creation and display of national narratives, the contributing historians, anthropologists, and other scholars delve into representations of contested histories at such “sites” as a British Library exhibition on the East India Company, a Rio de Janeiro shantytown known as “the cradle of samba,” the Ellis Island immigration museum, and high-school history textbooks in Ecuador.

Several contributors examine how the experiences of indigenous groups and the imperial past are incorporated into public histories in British Commonwealth nations: in Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum; in the First Peoples’ Hall at the Canadian Museum of Civilization; and, more broadly, in late-twentieth-century Australian culture. Still others focus on the role of governments in mediating contested racialized histories: for example, the post-apartheid history of South Africa’s Voortrekker Monument, originally designed as a tribute to the Voortrekkers who colonized the country’s interior. Among several essays describing how national narratives have been challenged are pieces on a dispute over how to represent Nepali history and identity, on representations of Afrocuban religions in contemporary Cuba, and on the installation in the French Pantheon in Paris of a plaque honoring Louis Delgrès, a leader of Guadeloupean resistance to French colonialism.


Contributors. Paul Amar, Paul Ashton, O. Hugo Benavides, Laurent Dubois, Richard Flores, Durba Ghosh, Albert Grundlingh, Paula Hamilton, Lisa Maya Knauer, Charlotte Macdonald, Mark Salber Phillips, Ruth B. Phillips, Deborah Poole, Anne M. Rademacher, Daniel J. Walkowitz

Like stars, societies are born, and this story deals with such a birth. It asks a fundamental and compelling question: How did societies first coalesce from the small foraging communities that had roamed in West Central Africa for many thousands of years?

Jan Vansina continues a career-long effort to reconstruct the history of African societies before European contact in How Societies Are Born. In this complement to his previous study Paths in the Rainforests, Vansina employs a provocative combination of archaeology and historical linguistics to turn his scholarly focus to governance, studying the creation of relatively large societies extending beyond the foraging groups that characterized west central Africa from the beginning of human habitation to around 500 BCE, and the institutions that bridged their constituent local communities and made large-scale cooperation possible.

The increasing reliance on cereal crops, iron tools, large herds of cattle, and overarching institutions such as corporate matrilineages and dispersed matriclans lead up to the developments treated in the second part of the book. From about 900 BCE until European contact, different societies chose different developmental paths. Interestingly, these proceeded well beyond environmental constraints and were characterized by "major differences in the subjects which enthralled people," whether these were cattle, initiations and social position, or "the splendors of sacralized leaders and the possibilities of participating in them."

As the nations of Africa shook off the shackles of colonialism and embraced their newfound independence in the 1960s, a singular figure burst into prominence in the tumultuous and expectant atmosphere gripping the continent. A son of apartheid South Africa, Michael Cassidy appeared an unlikely candidate to bring a Gospel message of salvation, reconciliation and hope to a land throwing off the chains of white rule.

Undaunted, he forged vital friendships with black heroes such as Ugandan Bishop Festo Kivengere, preaching – and living – a searing message of Kingdom love, grace, justice and non-racialism. Cassidy beat a unique path of Gospel faithfulness by calling Africa uncompromisingly to embrace Christ as Saviour and Lord, while fearlessly challenging oppressors such as the South African National Party to treat all citizens justly.

Educated at Cambridge and Fuller Theological Seminary, Cassidy nevertheless operated as a layman, yet graced with the authority to summon the church in Africa to unprecedented gatherings. The Pan African Christian Leadership Assembly in 1976 brought 5,000 Christian leaders from nearly every country to Nairobi to strategize together how to tackle the Great Commission across so vast a space during a time of pain and convulsion.

Following the South African Christian Leadership Assembly in Pretoria in 1979, Cassidy helped push the Dutch Reformed Church to declare unequivocally in 1986 that apartheid was a sin. The National Party, now shorn of theological justification, began to dismantle its racist governing apparatus in 1990.

Throughout his 55-year ministry, Cassidy saw clearly the glaring need for quality leadership across Africa, and especially as South Africa finally transitioned to democracy. He fostered vital dialogue among top politicians in the run-up to the Beloved Country’s 1994 elections. As the country hurtled toward civil war that year, Cassidy brought in a Kenyan Christian politician who engineered a last-minute negotiated settlement that paved the way for the miraculously peaceful inauguration of Nelson Mandela.

As Founder of African Enterprise, Cassidy laboriously built up over five decades what has emerged as the first African-led global partnership impacting a continent of vast untapped potential. Empowering Africans to rise up and call their fellow men and women to embrace Christ and live out the power of the Gospel in every facet of their lives is enabling Africa in the 21st century to realize the hopes that beat so strongly in the hearts of forbears who sought the freedom that only Jesus Christ can offer.
World War I is one of the iconic conflicts of the modern era. For many years the war at sea has been largely overlooked; yet, at the outbreak of that war, the British Government had expected and intended its military contribution to be largely naval. This was a war of ideologies fought by and for empires. Britain was not defending simply an island; it was defending a far flung empire. Without the navy such an undertaking would have been impossible. In many respects the Royal Navy fought along the longest 'front' of any fighting force of the Great War, and it acted as the leader of a large alliance of navies. The Royal Navy fought in the North and South Atlantic, in the North and South Pacific, its ships traversed the globe from Australia to England, and its presence extended the war to every continent except Antarctica. Because of the Royal Navy, Britain could finance and resource not only its own war effort, but that of its allies. Following the naval arms race in the early 20th century, both Britain and Germany were equipped with the latest naval technology, including revolutionary new vessels such as dreadnoughts and diesel-powered submarines.
Although the Royal Navy's operations in World War I were global, a significant proportion of the fleet's strength was concentrated in the Grand Fleet, which confronted the German High Seas Fleet across the North Sea. At the Battle of Jutland in 1916 the Royal Navy, under the command of Admiral Jellicoe, fought an iconic, if inconclusive battle for control of shipping routes. The navy might not have been able to win the war, but, as Winston Churchill put it, she 'could lose it in an afternoon'. The Royal Navy was British power and prestige. 43,244 British navy personnel would lose their lives fighting on the seas in World War I. This book tells their story and places the Royal Navy back at the heart of the British war effort, showing that without the naval dimension the First World War would not have been a truly global conflict.
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