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In this eloquent memoir, already widely read and praised in the author’s native South Africa, Hermann Giliomee weaves together the story of his own life with that of his country--a nation that continues to absorb and inspire him, both despite and because of its tortuous history.
An internationally respected historian--his landmark The Afrikaners, writes J. M. Coetzee, "includes an account of the origins and demise of apartheid that must rank as the most sober, objective and comprehensive we have"-- Giliomee has devoted a lifetime to exploring the origins and perpetuation of the deep divisions in South African society. Although he grew up in the heart of the Afrikaner nationalist movement, he soon began to cut his own path in examining the rise and entrenchment of exclusive Afrikaner power and became one of the National Party’s chief critics. As an "outside insider"--or, to his critics, a "snake in the grass"--Giliomee has an understanding of Afrikaner power that is informed and nuanced. He has engaged with members on all sides of South Africa’s debates--many of whom appear in these pages through vivid and insightful portraits--and his outspokenness has hit nerves across the political spectrum. The personal journey of this original and courageous thinker will appeal to anyone interested in the complexities of South Africa’s past and present.
Reconsiderations in Southern African History