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From Malan to Malema. The sub-title of this fascinating book.

If you’re interested in history, or in speeches and their impact, (or both), you are sure to find this book fascinating. I felt as if I had been placed in the time and context of each piece of oratory. The personalities involved were so well defined through their own words, and through the author’s commentary. Few histories are as turbulent, and as filled with diverse characters, as South Africa’s.

The journey starts during the election campaign before the 1948 election and takes us through to 2018. Every chapter features a speech (or parts of a speech), and details the history before, during and after the speech. I loved this innovative approach. which has 70 years of South African history unfolding in the words of Malan, Malema, Mandela, Maimane, Botha, Kennedy, and many more.

Thula Simpson wrote of the book, “A fascinating, sometimes unsettling exploration of the soul of a nation through the statesmen, activists, prophets, occasional demagogues and even frauds who words have managed to stir its depths.”

Such a clever book. Highly recommended.