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After Mandela: The Struggle for Freedom in Post-Apartheid South Africa Hardcover – September 10, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0871404787 ISBN-10: 0871404788 Edition: 1st

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After Mandela: The Struggle for Freedom in Post-Apartheid South Africa + Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Liveright; 1 edition (September 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871404788
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871404787
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Fantastic at cultivating contacts… [Foster] draws insightful observations from the hundreds of people he interviewed and those he encountered in passing. He proved to be especially good at connecting with young people and drawing on their astute observations about the country they have inherited.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“What a pleasant surprise to encounter a book that actually looks beyond the surface of South Africa's by now well-known story… Douglas Foster, former editor of Mother Jones, has gained a superb understanding of the complexities of South African society… Foster gives us a portrait of a vibrant nation, full of contrasts and contradictions, of wealth and poverty, of diversity and sophistication alongside ingrained attitudes and resistance… He is also fearless in putting his questions to the president, but given the nature of Zuma's evasions and excuses, it is no wonder that, at its conclusion, the book looks beyond the democratically elected leaders to the demos, the people of South Africa, and its essential spirit.” (Martin Rubin - Los Angeles Times)

“Mr. Foster is a dogged reporter, blessed with an uncanny ability to talk himself into places where journalists aren't normally welcome.” (Rian Malan - Wall Street Journal)

About the Author

Douglas Foster, an associate professor at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, is a contributor to The Atlantic, New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times, and Smithsonian. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning more about South Africa.
C Young
I'm still amazed at how he was able to capture such detail and create such a rapport and trust with each person to write their story.
Donna Su
This book chronicles Douglas Foster's time in South Africa a decade after the fall of apartheid.
Christopher Perez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Deutsch on September 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is an incredible accomplishment. Foster gives a well researched illustration of modern South Africa that goes beyond the simplistic praises or condemnations of the ANC typically found in academic literature. Through bottom-up and top-down investigative reporting, the reader gains a true understanding of this fascinating country, which is an excellent case study in the challenges and opportunities for people struggling for liberation. The best part about Foster's writing is the way that he features the people he interviews and brings them to life. The stories captivate you like you're reading a fiction novel and bring you into history in the making in a way that I never thought possible. If you're interested in South Africa, AIDS, post-colonial studies, or general political economy, I highly recommend this book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Anne Lamott on September 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a brilliant non-fiction book that reads like a novel, about South Africa after the revolution. Foster weaves together the stories of Mandela, his grandchildren, Mbeki, Jacob Zuma, and many citizens who are both ordinary and extraordinary It is a breathtaking piece of work--nuanced, precise, exhilarating, vivid, illuminating and just plain wonderful. I think you'll lve it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By MSchrader on December 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Douglas Foster did an excellent job at portraying the lives of different people. I loved that he introduced his audience into the book immediately, it made the book an easy read! I felt as if I was the one experiencing these things just by the amazing use of imagery throughout the book. If Foster goes anywhere else and writes a book, I WANT TO READ IT!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Terry Evans on November 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was sad when this book ended because I wanted to follow further the lives of the people Douglas Foster followed. Not only did I learn so much about South Africa's history and politics through Doug Foster's careful, thorough, and deep research, but his book reads like a grand novel. The structure of the book led me through the lives of his characters as he moved back and forth picking up one story and then another and weaving them together so that I began to understand the complexities of traditions and economics and personal stories in South Africa. This is one of the best books I've ever read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Julia Dalzell on November 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Doug Foster's After Mandela is an impeccably researched account of post-apartheid South Africa. In this book, Foster considers the intersection of globalization, political liberation, and HIV/AIDS that confronted Mandela after the fall of apartheid. The story is told through a series of multi-year interviews of the born free generation (those born after the fall of apartheid), including three children of the political elite (the president's daughter, Mandela's grandson, and the son of the opposition leader), and three unknown South Africans (a street thief, HIV positive girl, and promising young student). Foster's triumph is not only that he gained access to the next generation of South African elite, and selected representative youth "outsiders" out of the thousands he interviewed throughout his research, but that he returned year after year after year to monitor their triumphs and failures. These are not mere biographical sketches, but deep studies that illuminate the deepest and most personal hopes and fears of the generation that will dictate the success or failure of the South African revolution.

One of Foster's themes is to contrast the feelings of the generation for which freedom was won with the inside perspective of the ANC leadership and, in particular, the political feud that toppled Mbeki from power and led to the presidency of Jacob Zuma. In this respect, Foster's access to the leadership of the ANC is unparalleled.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DSBain on November 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After Mandela was a pleasure to read from start to finish. Foster tells the story of present-day South Africa from multiple perspectives, from that of the current President, to rising young professionals, to urban street kids and poor rural youth. I was most touched by the sensitivity with which he profiles members of the so-called "born free" generation who have yet to reap the benefits of the end of apartheid. These profiles, combined with keen observations and in-depth interviews with political elites and leading journalists, yield a rich, layered panorama of the present reality and the challenges ahead. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By annh on December 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a hard book to get started on. It is over 500 pages long and I struggled with the first few chapters before the book finally started to flow. The main problem was that I did not know much about South Africa prior to picking up the book. My recommendation for anyone thinking about reading this book is to do a little research regarding the history of South Africa before you start reading the book. The author jumped right into post-apartheid South Africa without first giving a clear understanding of what had occurred prior. This is explained a little more further in the book, but it will help the reader get a good start with the book if they are more informed beforehand. Once you get going with the book, it is an easy read and very interesting. Douglas Foster did an awesome job of describing the struggles of post-apartheid South Africa, mainly from the perspective of the youths who will be leading the nation in the future. Foster was able to obtain first-hand, candid interviews from the highest of the highest to the lowest of the lowest. Definitely a good read for anyone interested in following the continuing struggle of this troubled country.
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