Fault Lines: Journeys into the New South Africa
By David Goodman
This gem of a book looks at contemporary South Africa by recounting how the lives of eight South Africans have dramatically changed -- or not changed -- with the end of apartheid. An excellent introduction to the intricacies of South African politics and society for newcomers to the topic, it weaves in just enough historical background to contextualize its subjects without becoming academic. Goodman manages to establish an empathy with his subjects while coolly dissecting their raw emotions of resentment, guilt, denial, and ambition. The unifying theme is the strain created by the unresolved problems that link the new South Africa to the old: racism, inequality, and ongoing poverty -- all legacies of past injustice. The gulf between hope and reality, and Goodman's disappointment with what he sees as a revolution's not living up to its ideals, add another stimulating dimension. The splendid photographs by Paul Weinberg are a further bonus.