- Series: Perspectives on Southern Africa (Book 56)
- Paperback: 418 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition, Updated with a New Afterword edition (March 15, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0520232038
- ISBN-13: 978-0520232037
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,408,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fault Lines: Journeys into the New South Africa (Updated with a New Afterword) First Edition, Updated with a New Afterword Edition
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"This book should be read by anyone interested in the future of South Africa or indeed any conflict situation where the fighting has ended and the political settlement is in place, but the real problems are only just beginning."--Michael Good, "The Sunday Tribune (Dublin)
From the Inside Flap
"David Goodman's vivid, intensely personal, and unobtrusively erudite book is irresistible reading for anyone who cares about South Africa."―Adam Hochshild, author of King Leopold's Ghost
"A gem of a book. An excellent introduction to the intricacies of South African politics and society."―Gail M. Gerhart, Foreign Affairs
"A sequence of truths shown through the lives of eight contrasted citizens, this book reveals our new South Africa with the startling accuracy of flashes of lightning on a stormy night―and with the apartheid storm over, a remarkable rainbow of hope can be seen."―Donald Woods, author of Biko
Top customer reviews
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I loved the way the author brought these people, their acts, and even their motivations to light. I was especially impressed with the first two essays, one about a black pastor cruelly tortured, jailed, beaten, and harassed by the South African police and paramilitary forces, and then the second about his main harasser who admitted his cruelty and his actions but would not admit to what he did here.
It brought to life the meaning behind the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, that it was not necessarily designed to get every single fact out, but as much as possible given the terrible nature and acts of the men who committed the most horrible of human atrocities.
Much, much respect to this author for not simply slamming the oppressors but making them appear as human as the oppressed, which makes us understand that there is a South Africa in all of us, waiting for us to decide who will be in charge.
The author does a good job of interviewing various segments of South African society, but nearly 75% of the book focuses on Apartheid, which has been effectively dead since 1990. This book has the same feel as the many dozens of others that were written prior to Mandela's election. Technically the author is conducting the interviews post-Apartheid, but the reliance is on the old ghosts of the past to excuse tacit failure.
Perhaps most frustrating are the slight clues dropped along the way that hint at corruption and crime, two areas most indicative of national direction (especially in Africa), although the author never indulges us with detail. This is unfortunate because a lot of effort was spent to put together a book that gives precious little insight into whether South Africa will wind up as another Zimbabwe, or if the continent's last great hope will manage to retain its economy and pull up its neighbors as many of us were so hopeful of in 1990.
The author intelligently divided the book into four parts: an introduction in which he talks about his early trips in South Africa under apartheid and the current social situation of the country, four portrait sections in which he includes a pair of interviews with people on opposite sides of the current post-apartheid experience, and a sensible personal conclusion. The reader should expect moving as well as harrowing personal accounts of apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. Many things throughout the book will bring hope to the reader; however, that hope will be checked by Goodman's well-informed statistics on criminality and unemployment in present-day South Africa. The book definitively deserves a wide readership.