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Jonathan Ball

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Extract from Apartheid: An Illustrated History by Michael Morris

ApartheidNamibiana Buchdepot has shared an extract from Apartheid: An Illustrated History by Michael Morris, in which he writes about “the dissonance of remembering” where apartheid is concerned.

“For many, their stories of apartheid are conceivably inexhaustible, while others will wonder what more can possibly be said,” Morris says. In his book, Morris draws on the work of scholars and historians as well as contemporary reporting to produce an unsentimental and highly readable account of our history, vividly complemented by photographs and cartoons:

The one thing that constantly looms large in South Áfricas future is South Áfricas past. Hardly a day goes by without something being said, often casually, that reminds people of how it was, how normal, how abnormal. It s always an arguable condition. If South Africans can agree on the essential facts, that s often where the agreement ends. After all, who you were – or were thought to be by the texture of your hair or the colour of your skin – made a world of difference, and, in many ways, still does. The history of the past century, the fifty years that led up to apartheid, and the fifty years of its rise and fall, remains a zone of discomfort as much in public politics as in private memory and imagination.

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