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A Human Being Died That Night: A South African Woman Confronts the Legacy of Apartheid

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A Human Being Died That Night: A South African Woman Confronts the Legacy of Apartheid Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A Human Being Died That Night recounts an extraordinary dialogue. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, a psychologist who grew up in a black South African township, reflects on her interviews with Eugene de Kock, the commanding officer of state-sanctioned death squads under apartheid. Gobodo-Madikizela met with de Kock in Pretoria's maximum-security prison, where he is serving a 212-year sentence for crimes against humanity. In profoundly arresting scenes, Gobodo-Madikizela conveys her struggle with contradictory internal impulses to hold him accountable and to forgive. Ultimately, as she allows us to witness de Kock's extraordinary awakening of conscience, she illuminates the ways in which the encounter compelled her to redefine the value of remorse and the limits of forgiveness.

Synopsis:

An acutely nuanced and original study of a state-sanctioned mass murderer. Not since Dead Man Walking have we seen so provocative a first-person encounter with the human face of evil.

Eugene de Kock, the commanding officer of state-sanctioned apartheid death squads, is currently serving 212 years in jail for crimes against humanity. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, who grew up in a black township in South Africa, served as a psychologist on that country's great national experiment in healing, the Truth and Reconcilation Commission. As this book opens, in an act of inescapable, multilayered symbolism and extraordinary psychological courage, Gobodo-Madikizela enters Pretoria's maximum security prison to meet the man called "Prime Evil." What follows is a journey into what it means to be human.

Gobodo-Madikizela's experience with and deep empathy for victims of murderous violence, including those killed by de Kock and their families and friends, become clear in arresting scenes set during the TRC hearings, in which both perpetrators and their victims are given voice. The author's profound understanding of the language and memory of violence, and of the searingly complex issues surrounding apology and forgiveness after mass atrocity, will leave a mark on scholarship as well as on our emotional lives. Gobodo-Madikizela's journey with de Kock, during which she allows us to witness the extraordinary awakening of his remorse, brings us to one of the great questions of our time: What does it mean when we discover that the incarnation of evil is as frighteningly human as we are?

About the Author

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, a clinical psychologist, served alongside Archbishop Desmond Tutu as one of ten members of South Africa"s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She lectures internationally on issues of vengeance and forgiveness.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780618446599
Author:
Gobodo-madikizela, Pumla
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Author:
Gobodo-Madikizela, Pumla
Author:
Madikizela
Author:
Pumla Gobodo-
Author:
ikizela
Author:
Pumla Gobodo-Mad
Location:
Boston
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
South Africa
Subject:
Africa - South - South Africa
Subject:
Africa - South - Republic of South Africa
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
April 2004
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8.20x5.54x.53 in. .47 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
History and Social Science » Africa » South Africa
History and Social Science » World History » Africa

A Human Being Died That Night: A South African Woman Confronts the Legacy of Apartheid New Trade Paper
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$14.95 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Mariner Books - English 9780618446599 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
An acutely nuanced and original study of a state-sanctioned mass murderer. Not since Dead Man Walking have we seen so provocative a first-person encounter with the human face of evil.

Eugene de Kock, the commanding officer of state-sanctioned apartheid death squads, is currently serving 212 years in jail for crimes against humanity. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, who grew up in a black township in South Africa, served as a psychologist on that country's great national experiment in healing, the Truth and Reconcilation Commission. As this book opens, in an act of inescapable, multilayered symbolism and extraordinary psychological courage, Gobodo-Madikizela enters Pretoria's maximum security prison to meet the man called "Prime Evil." What follows is a journey into what it means to be human.

Gobodo-Madikizela's experience with and deep empathy for victims of murderous violence, including those killed by de Kock and their families and friends, become clear in arresting scenes set during the TRC hearings, in which both perpetrators and their victims are given voice. The author's profound understanding of the language and memory of violence, and of the searingly complex issues surrounding apology and forgiveness after mass atrocity, will leave a mark on scholarship as well as on our emotional lives. Gobodo-Madikizela's journey with de Kock, during which she allows us to witness the extraordinary awakening of his remorse, brings us to one of the great questions of our time: What does it mean when we discover that the incarnation of evil is as frighteningly human as we are?

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