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A legacy of liberation : Thabo Mbeki and the future of the South African dream
Gevisser, Mark.
Adult Nonfiction DT1975 .G47 2009

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Scion of a once prosperous family impoverished by apartheid, former South African president Thabo Mbeki's ambition as a revolutionary leader was tightly tangled with his family's history and (often painful) influence, contends South African journalist Gevisser. Mbeki's "dislocated, in effect parentless childhood" and early exposure to Christian, Communist and nationalist ideals laid the ground for his first student actions against systemic injustice; exile in 1960s England, Moscow and sub-Saharan Africa; his absorption of Black Power and Black Consciousness ideas; and his tumultuous return through the top ranks of the African National Congress (ending in 2008's ignominious loss to rival Jacob Zuma). The author argues that the controversial leadership of the constitutionally reserved and secretive Mbeki reveals a deep "disconnect" born out of his "traumatic past" that fed his service to the ANC: a "movement that was his family... that ultimately rejected him" and prevented him from putting his "breathtaking vision of the future" into practice. While Gevisser's speculations on Mbeki's psychological makeup might put off some readers, the painstakingly researched narrative remains a judicious and an eye-opening account of a life intersecting history at the most profound level. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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