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After Mandela: The Battle for the Soul of South Africa

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  120 ratings  ·  16 reviews
When Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress declared victory over the bitter injustice of apartheid, some thought South Africa's future was assured. But despite Mandela’s mission of reconciliation, rampant inequality remains; race relations are uneasy, violence is endemic and many in the ANC appear to have lost sight of the liberation ideals. With the election in ...more
Published 2010 by Cornerstone (Random House) (first published May 7th 2009)
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Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
An extremely readable account of the history and issues facing the Rainbow Nation post emergence from the Apartheid era. The author provides a balanced viewpoint across a range of topics, including those of crime, AIDS, how each of South Africa's Presidents has performed since 1994. With a look to the future, Russell also considers how the Afrikans people have fared and what may lie ahead for the nation.

Well worth introductory reading to get a good understanding of how South Africa has arrived
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A really good assessment of South Africa during years of Mbeki's presidency (starts with transition from Mandela, ends with rise of Zuma). Uses a wealth of interviews, anecdotes, and historical perspective to cover all key areas of the society - the party, the violence, failure to deliver, Afrikaners, AIDS, BEE, Zimbabwe and more.
It had its slow moments, specially in the beginning, and a tiny bit of (Western?) proselytising, but they are rare.
3.5* upgraded to 4 🙂
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s a pity that this book could not continue up to today , it was written about ten years ago, because it’s a really interesting and well informed examination of South African politics.
I learned a lot from this well written, balanced and well researched book
Rivka Levy
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Amazing prose, and full of first-hand interviews, stories and factual accounts, this book is an excellent description of the challenges facing South Africa post-apartheid. Even though it was written a decade ago, much of what it describes is still just as current today.
Ian .
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great book about the history of South Africa, about the end of the apartheid regime and the struggles that followed.
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
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Aug 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
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Mark Farley
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Having recently visited South Africa (and in particular Robben Island and Soweto) and came across many of the social and political factors myself in this book on my trip, not to mention visiting in the immediate period before the election win for Zuma, I was incredibly fascinated on hearing the take of Alec Russell, a seasoned and experienced correspondent in the country for the Financial Times. His book is anecdotal, the arguments and points he raises are just and thought out and incisive and t ...more
Aug 27, 2011 added it
Great basic intro to post mandela south Africa - I used it to give some background on main economic and social themes to inform a work trip to sa. Only quibble is that tha author as a British bbc journalist is too much of an outsider to give really searing insight into south African politics. But for those wanting a quick overview and easy read it is perfect.
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, south-africa
This is the most helpful book I've read so far about the post-1994 life of South Africa. As a newcomer to the country, it really helped fill in some gaps for me, in a manner that was both enlightening and interesting. I would recommend this to anyone who is following the ongoing life of South Africa. ...more
Andrew Doran
May 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book for anyone who wants to understand the dynamics of key issues in recent South African history. Despite the title, the author does a good job of explaining the relevant historical contexts that led up to the challenges of the past two decades. Reading Mandela���s ���Long Walk To Freedom��� beforehand is recommended if you want to go even deeper into the history.
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Interesting, nuanced and informative book about post-Apartheid South Africa. Explores the tensions within a state that has shaken off a racist regime and replaced it with one that is better but far from perfect.
Jun 11, 2011 is currently reading it
Haven't finished reading yet but that is because it is book of political science and I don't usually read such things.

It provides a good insight into the politics of South Africa post-Mandela. Very interesting the was Russell compares and distinguishes South Africa from other African nations.
Jan 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Interesting and well-informed. But I'm waiting for the inside scoop on the ANC! ...more
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: africa, non-fiction
An accessible and informative overview of South Africa in the years since the end of apartheid, focusing on areas such as land reform, business, policing, HIV, and the internal struggles of the ANC.
Connor Leech
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
A bit dated now but great educational book about SA
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