Non-partisan and hard-hitting, John Allen’s personal account of life in South Africa during the apartheid era will surprise many with its combination of intimate detail and grassroots insight. It contains revealing glimpses of the international media’s selective reporting and gives an insider’s view of the country’s inhabitants, their cultural differences and manner of dealing with them. The book also touches on a number of external influences that so adversely affected the population and brought the country to the brink of revolution.
Drawing from an abundance of experience, the author recalls – often with spirited humour – what living in apartheid South Africa really entailed, transporting the reader to every corner of the region as he maps out the historical parameters around which the nation was shaped. From early colonial discriminatory influence to the more recent groundbreaking reconciliation process, Allen provides the no-nonsense perspective so necessary for a balanced understanding of the country and its quandaries. He also turns the spotlight on other nations where apartheid, a system of government under which so many still live, has been practised but never labeled.
Unambiguous and challenging, Apartheid South Africa brings to public scrutinity one of the world’s toughest – and most enduring – problems.
Although British-born, John Allen lived in South Africa from 1954 to 1990, a 36-year period during which the country experienced its most climactic – and sometimes terrible – events. Speaking from firsthand knowledge and with an intimate understanding of the situation, the author takes us beyond the media hype that so dominated Western television screens to answer some of the most vital questions concerning the apartheid era:
Who originated the system of government the world grew to hate so much?
Was South Africa the only ‘apartheid’ nation?
Did economic sanctions have the desired effect?
How did Washington’s domestic agenda affect US foreign policy?
What was the West’s real motive in forcing the country to its knees?
Why did Nelson Mandela’s release from prison increase rather than diminish violence?
Apartheid South Africa addresses these and a host of other issues, bringing to light little-known facts concerning historical detail and providing the reader with eyewitness accounts of day-to-day life in one of the most dangerous countries in the world.