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The End of Apartheid

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School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—This volume consists of articles, speeches, and extracts from longer pieces chosen to illuminate the end of the era. Original publication dates of the articles range from 1963 through 2008 and there is as much emphasis on explaining what apartheid was as there is on its demise. Both primary and secondary sources are included. The articles are broadly focused, making it difficult to compare the different authors' views on any particular issue or set of issues. Introductory notes do not provide enough detail to clarify the context for readers without a great deal of background. There are also some major omissions. For example, there is very little explanation of the conflict and violence of the early 1990s, from the time of Mandela's release from prison in 1990, through the negotiations, and leading up to the elections of 1994. The selections are frequently challenging, ranging from academic language to bureaucratic, governmental rhetoric. The strongest section is "Personal Narrative," with selections from Mandela, Rian Malan (1990), Steve Biko (1978), and a group of South African teenagers (1998). The time line is inadequate; it does not help to provide an informative context for events. This book may help to round out a high school collection if South Africa is a covered curriculum area.—Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City
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