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Crossing the Line: A Year in the Land of Apartheid

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  57 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
The award-winning debut by the acclaimed author of Cold New World,
Named by The New York Times Book Review as a top ten nonfiction book of 1986, this seminal piece of cross-cultural journalism is an account of a white American's experience teaching black students in South Africa--an account essential for its incisive coverage of the student anti-apartheid movement, as well
Paperback, 434 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Persea Books (first published 1986)
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May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Finnegan ist eigentlich nur auf Weltreise und landet in Südafrika, damals noch mitten in der Apartheid. Da ihm das nötige Kleingeld fehlt und Lehrer immer knapp sind, verdingt er sich kurzerhand als Lehrer an einer High School für “Coloureds”, also für diejenigen Schüler, die auf der strikten Apartheids-Skala zwischen Schwarzen und Weißen stehen. Es fehlt nahezu an allem, die Lehrpläne sind hoffnungslos ohne Niveau und darüber hinaus hat Finnegan erst einmal gar keine gültige Aufenthalts- und Ar ...more
Beverley Kaye
Mar 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Finnegan was doing his grand tour in the late 70's and ran out of money so stopped in Cape Town to find work. He got a job teaching in the Cape Flats, a coloured area. Like "They can not Kill us all" by Richard Manning, this book is his personal observations but as a teacher he has a different perspective than Richard Manning and William was there in 1980, a few years earlier than Manning. One can see the tension mounting between even 1980 and 1986.
Scott Cox
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, non-fiction
This book is somewhat out of date; given the events of the past years e.g. apartheid as a system in South Africa has been discontinued, thankfully!! However Finnegan's treatment of the boycotts and revolutionary figures are an excellent study in South African political history and the movements that brought apartheid to an end.
Feb 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I remember reading this through Christmas Day. My first real look at South Africa and the apartheid dilemna/travesty. William Finnegan gets inside Cape Town and its ghettos with humor and poignancy.
Stephen Witt
Sep 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Good. Kind of made me wonder what I'm doing with my life.
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William Finnegan is a staff writer at The New Yorker. He has won several awards for his journalism and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for his work "Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life."
More about William Finnegan...

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