A good journalist can look behind what's happening and see what's going on. From early 1990 until late 1992, Ottaway covered South Africa for the Washington Post with a fine eye for the complex political agendas alternately guiding and misguiding the contending players. It was a confusing time of false starts and political shadowboxing, the demythologizing of Nelson Mandela, and the retreat of F. W. De Klerk from the role of heroic reformer to that of mysteriously impotent bystander as township violence spiraled to record heights. Ottaway deftly leads readers through this potentially bewildering historical landscape, synthesizing, clarifying and distilling the essential features of South Africa's stumbling progress toward democracy. An important book for an understanding of these pivotal years.
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