Alec Russell talks with Jeff Schechtman about South Africa

April 21st, 2009

Award-winning journalist Alec Russell was in South Africa to witness the fall of apartheid and the remarkable reconciliation of Nelson Mandela’s rule; and returned in 2007-2008 to see Mandela’s successor, Thabo Mbeki, risk the country’s reputation. South Africa is now perched on a precipice, as it prepares to elect Jacob Zuma as president on April 21st—signaling a potential slide back to the bad old days of post-colonial African leadership, and disaster for a country that was once the beacon of hope for the continent. Drawing on his long relationships with all the key senior figures including Mandela, Mbeki, Desmond Tutu, and Zuma, and a host of South Africans he has known over the years, Alec Russell’s Bring Me My Machine Gun: The Battle for the Soul of South Africa, from Mandela to Zuma is an expertly observed and reportered account of South Africa’s great tragedies and unfulfilled promise.

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