Fault Lines: Journeys into the New South Africa (Updated with a New Afterword)

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9780520232037: Fault Lines: Journeys into the New South Africa (Updated with a New Afterword)

South Africa has experienced one of the world's most dramatic political transformations. David Goodman, a journalist and activist who has witnessed South Africa's struggles since the darkest days of apartheid, chronicles the historic transition from apartheid to democracy. This compelling story is told through the lives of four pairs of South Africans who have experienced apartheid from opposite sides of the racial and political divide. Taken together, these profiles provide the first in-depth look at the social dynamics of post-apartheid South Africa.

Part social history and part personal drama, Fault Lines is an account of what happens to real people when their country is reinvented around them. The struggle to reconcile past evils is captured in the stories of a former police assassin and his intended victim. The rise and fall of South African racism is portrayed through the lives of the late Prime Minister H.F. Verwoerd—the notorious "architect of apartheid"—and his grandson, now a member of the ruling African National Congress. The battle to break out of poverty is detailed in the story of two black women: one an impoverished domestic worker and new city councilor, the other a Mercedes-driving member of South Africa's new black elite. The struggle for the land is told through the eyes of two neighbors: a black farmer who was evicted from his lands in the 1980s and has returned to start over, and a conservative white farmer who participated in the eviction and now does business with the man whose life he nearly destroyed. These powerful stories are accompanied by the photography of award-winning South African documentary photographer Paul Weinberg.

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Review:

In April 1994, South Africa held its first ever democratic elections, ushering Nelson Mandela into office as the nation's first black president. What has followed that election, as the country attempts to reinvent a society founded on racism and the indignities of apartheid, is the subject of Fault Lines. "How does a nation deal with the memory of its brutal past?" is perhaps the question that most guides David Goodman, a journalist and longtime observer of South African life. Like the Truth and Reconciliation hearings, the political instrument of South Africa's struggle to come to terms with apartheid-era crimes, the strength of Fault Lines rests on an unflinching yet compassionate quest for truth. Goodman brings all his investigative skills to the task of getting an answer from all sides. He juxtaposes profiles of a victim of police brutality and the former security officer who helped torture him, or a well-off Afrikaner farmer and his neighbor, a black South African forcibly removed from his land. While formal apartheid has ended, Goodman finds "an unfinished revolution," with many citizens still mired in terrible economic and social injustice. Fault Lines is fascinating, if disturbing, reading for anyone interested in understanding the history and present of what the author calls "the most exciting country in the world." --Maria Dolan

From the Inside Flap:

"This is a searingly honest book by someone who really knows his subject. Goodman is sympathetic to the attempts at transformation in my beloved motherland. The message of this book applies just as easily to the United States, where the fault lines run very deep, too. And the U.S. has been trying to solve these problems a great deal longer than the new South Africa."—Archbishop Desmond Tutu

"David Goodman's vivid, intensely personal, and unobtrusively erudite book is irresistible reading for anyone who cares about South Africa."—Adam Hochshild, author of King Leopold's Ghost

"A gem of a book. An excellent introduction to the intricacies of South African politics and society."—Gail M. Gerhart, Foreign Affairs

"A sequence of truths shown through the lives of eight contrasted citizens, this book reveals our new South Africa with the startling accuracy of flashes of lightning on a stormy night—and with the apartheid storm over, a remarkable rainbow of hope can be seen."—Donald Woods, author of Biko

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. South Africa has experienced one of the world s most dramatic political transformations. David Goodman, a journalist and activist who has witnessed South Africa s struggles since the darkest days of apartheid, chronicles the historic transition from apartheid to democracy. This compelling story is told through the lives of four pairs of South Africans who have experienced apartheid from opposite sides of the racial and political divide. Taken together, these profiles provide the first in-depth look at the social dynamics of post-apartheid South Africa. Part social history and part personal drama, Fault Lines is an account of what happens to real people when their country is reinvented around them. The struggle to reconcile past evils is captured in the stories of a former police assassin and his intended victim. The rise and fall of South African racism is portrayed through the lives of the late Prime Minister H.F. Verwoerd - the notorious architect of apartheid - and his grandson, now a member of the ruling African National Congress. The battle to break out of poverty is detailed in the story of two black women: one an impoverished domestic worker and new city councilor, the other a Mercedes-driving member of South Africa s new black elite. The struggle for the land is told through the eyes of two neighbors: a black farmer who was evicted from his lands in the 1980s and has returned to start over, and a conservative white farmer who participated in the eviction and now does business with the man whose life he nearly destroyed. These powerful stories are accompanied by the photography of award-winning South African documentary photographer Paul Weinberg. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780520232037

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