As a spokesman for a country, a continent and the developing world, Thabo Mbeki plays a crucial role in world politics, but to many people he is an enigma. Is this simply because Mbeki is a secretive man, or are there complicated political factors at play?
In this book, experienced journalist William Gumede pulls together the insights he has gained from years of reporting on the Mbeki presidency to create a sophisticated but readable account of South Africa's seat of power. He explores the complex position that Mbeki occupies - following in Nelson Mandela's footsteps, heading a party with roots as a liberation movement, and ruling an intensely divided country. Revealing the political and personal tensions behind the scenes, Gumede explains the forces that have created one of the world's most powerful and enigmatic leaders.
Covering Mbeki's attempts to modernise the economy and kick-start an African Renaissance, and investigating his controversial stance on issues from AIDS to Zimbabwe, the book offers invaluable insights into the machinations behind political decisions that touch the lives of millions every day.
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd
Number of pages: 496
Weight: 757 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 156 mm
Edition: 2nd Revised ed.
'The book offers invaluable insights into the machinations behind political decisions that touch millions every day.'
Praise for the first edition:
'If you want to understand contemporary South Africa and the struggle for the future of Africa, start with this insightful and prophetic book.'
'A timely, well-written and important book.'
'Gumede's book promises to make a solid and lasting contribution to our understanding of the man and the post-apartheid order he did so much to create.'
John Reed, The Financial Times
'I happened to be in South Africa when William Gumede's book first came out and watched as it inspired apoplectic fits of rage (and clandestine delight...) at the highest reaches of the ANC government. Finally the real story of how Thabo Mbeki had betrayed the founding principles of the Party was being told -- and the person shining the flashlight into the backrooms was one of the country's most respected investigative journalists and a third generation ANC loyalist. This is a definitive account of how one of the greatest liberation struggles of our time failed millions of people in whose name it fought, told with revelatory research, a cool head and expert storytelling.'
Naomi Klein, author of 'No Logo'
'A powerful work of synthesis and political analysis. Remarkably frank and thorough, this book is essential for any understanding of contemporary South Africa.'
(The Noma Award for Publishing in Africa)
'Packed with detail and context...For those either with an interest in South Africa or seeking to learn from South Africa's experiences of what happens when liberation movements take power and how the interests of those who suffered most from apartheid were betrayed, this 430-page volume will be a gripping read.'
'Within South African's post-apartheid story, Mbeki has been the seminal player; and Gumede, as a top journalist, provides a treasure-trove of facts about the unfolding Mbeki-saga...for anyone interested in understanding post-apartheid South Africa, Gumede's book is well worth a read.'
Australian Review of Public Affairs, April 2008