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Letters from Robben Island: Ahmed Kathrada's Prison Correspondence, 1964-1989

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Letters from Robben Island: Ahmed Kathrada's Prison Correspondence, 1964-1989 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Late one night in July, 1963, a South African police unit surrounded the African National Congress headquarters in Rivonia and arrested a group of Movement leaders gathered inside. Eventually eight of them, including Nelson Mandela, who was already serving a sentence, Walter Sisulu, Dennis Goldberg, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Elias Motsoledi, Andrew Mangeni, and Ahmed Kathrada, were convicted of sabotage and, on June 12, 1964, sentenced to life in prison. Soon, these men became widely known as the "Rivonia Trialists." Despite their imprisonment, the Trialists played active roles in the struggle against South Africa's racist regime. Instead of being forgotten, as apartheid officials had hoped, they became enduring symbols in a struggle against injustice and racism. 

     Kathrada and his colleagues were classified as high security prisoners, segregated from others and closely watched. Every activity was regulated and monitored. Among the many indignities visited upon them, the prisoners were prohibited from keeping copies of incoming and outgoing correspondence. Kathrada, or "Kathy" as he is known, successfully hid both. 

     Letters From Robben Island contains a selection of 86 of the more than 900 pieces of correspondence Ahmed Kathrada wrote during his 26 years on Robben Island and at Pollsmoor Prison. Some were smuggled out by friends; others were written in code to hide meaning and content from prison censors. These are among his most poignant, touching, and eloquent communications. They are testimonies to Kathrada, his colleagues, and to their commitment to obtaining human dignity and freedom for all South Africans.

Synopsis:

Letters From Robben Island contains a selection of 86 of the more than 900 pieces of correspondence Ahmed Kathrada wrote during his 26 years on Robben Island and at Pollsmoor Prison. Some were smuggled out by friends; others were written in code to hide meaning and content from prison censors. These are among his most poignant, touching, and eloquent communications. They are testimonies to Kathrada, his colleagues, and to their commitment to obtaining human dignity and freedom for all South Africans.

About the Author

Robert Vassen was born in South Africa. He is Associate Director of the English Language Center at Michigan State University. Prior to coming to MSU in 1990, he lived in London, England, where he was an active member of the African National Congress.

Table of Contents

Dedication and acknowledgments / Ahmed Kathrada — Foreword / Nelson Mandela — Introduction / Walter Sisulu — Editor's introduction / Robert Vassen — About Ahmed Kathrada — Sylvia Neame, February or March 1964 — Sylvia Neame, February or March 1964 — Sylvia Neame, May 1964 — Sylvia Neame, 9 June 1964 — Sylvia Neame, 11 June 1964 — Ahmed Kola, 30 August 1964 — Kathrada family, 18 October 1964 — Kathrada family, 24 December 1967 — Essop Pahad, 3 April 1968 — Goolam Hoosenbhai, 29 December 1968 — Sylvia Neame, between 11-31 December 1970 — Solly Kathrada, March 26 1972 — Zivia Shaban, 12 May 1973 — Mrs. Neville Alexander, 16 February 1975 — Sonia Bunting, 16 February 1975 — Choti and Ismail, 28 March, 1975 — Ruth and Ilse Fischer, 11 May 1975 — Raman Chiba, 20 Septem

Product Details

ISBN:
9780870135279
Foreword:
Mandela, Nelson
Editor:
Vassen, Robert
Foreword by:
Mandela, Nelson
Foreword:
Mandela, Nelson
Editor:
Vassen, Robert
Author:
Vassen, Robert D.
Author:
Kathrada, Ahmed
Author:
Sisulu, Walter
Publisher:
Michigan State University Press
Location:
Cape Town, South Africa :
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Political
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
South Africa
Subject:
Political prisoners
Subject:
African national congress
Subject:
South Africa Politics and government.
Subject:
Political prisoners -- South Africa.
Subject:
Africa
Subject:
Biography-Political
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Publication Date:
19990831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
263
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » Artists, Architects, and Photographers
Biography » Historical
Biography » Political
History and Social Science » Africa » South Africa
History and Social Science » Politics » General

Letters from Robben Island: Ahmed Kathrada's Prison Correspondence, 1964-1989 Used Trade Paper
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Product details 263 pages Michigan State University Press - English 9780870135279 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

Letters From Robben Island contains a selection of 86 of the more than 900 pieces of correspondence Ahmed Kathrada wrote during his 26 years on Robben Island and at Pollsmoor Prison. Some were smuggled out by friends; others were written in code to hide meaning and content from prison censors. These are among his most poignant, touching, and eloquent communications. They are testimonies to Kathrada, his colleagues, and to their commitment to obtaining human dignity and freedom for all South Africans.

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