The thing that looms largest in South Africa’s future is South Africa’s past – most especially the nearly five decades of division and conflict at the heart of one of the twentieth century’s most infamous social experiments.
Apartheid: An Illustrated History examines the defining experience of modern South Africa’s transition from colonialism to democracy. What began in May 1948 as an ambitious project to engineer white supremacy at the expense of the country’s black majority spawned 46 years of repressive authoritarianism and bitter resistance, which claimed the lives of thousands and pushed the country to the brink of civil war.
Journalist Michael Morris draws on the work of scholars and historians, as well as contemporary reporting in an unsentimental and highly readable account, vividly complemented by photographs and cartoons. A provocative postscript examines apartheid’s stubborn afterlife in the years since 1994, highlighting the need for South Africans to avoid simplistic views of the past.
MICHAEL MORRIS, currently the Head of Media at the South African Institute of Race Relations, began his career in journalism in 1979. He spent three years in London in the 1980s as a foreign correspondent for the Argus group of newspapers, returning to a posting in Parliament that spanned the last days of PW Botha and the first year of Nelson Mandela’s post-1994 government. Morris is the author of a history of South Africa, Every Step of the Way, as well as Paging Through History – 150 years with the Cape Argus 1857-2007.