Synopses & Reviews
The peaceful birth of black majority rule in South Africa was a transcendent moment. Many South Africans believe this negotiated revolution to be a miracle: at the very least it was a feat of political magic. One false step along the way could have ignited the race war that had been widely predicted as South Africa's destiny. Patti Waldmeir's colorful and incisive narrative begins with the birth of apartheid itself, and traces the very human drama that brought about its demise. It is the story of a grand seduction, a study in the psychology of capitulation, which ends with the inauguration of the world's most famous prisoner as president of a new country, and the creation of a new, rainbow nation. The author was present at nearly every critical moment during the endgame of apartheid, and we see all the principal actors - Nelson Mandela, F. W. de Klerk, Chief Buthelezi, and the militants of the extreme right - through the eyes of a journalist who knows them personally. She captures the good sense and the violence of these times, and illuminates the forces of history, economics, demographics, and morality that shaped the human drama. Few journalists have known South Africa so long or so well as Patti Waldmeir. This book draws on her conversations with presidents past and present and on her eyewitness accounts of township violence, guerrilla actions, and brutal "necklaces". She reports from inside a political process without precedent, in which both blacks and whites have achieved their liberation.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -294) and index.