15 Books Worth Reading About South Africa


Here are ten highly regarded non-fiction books from South Africa, plus 5 coffee table books.

“Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela: The autobiography of Nelson Mandela, the iconic South African leader and anti-apartheid activist.

“Cry, the Beloved Country” by Alan Paton: A classic novel set in South Africa that explores the social and political issues of apartheid.

“The Seed is Mine: The Life of Kas Maine, a South African Sharecropper” by Charles van Onselen: This book tells the remarkable story of a black sharecropper in South Africa, shedding light on the experiences of the rural poor during apartheid.

“Country of My Skull” by Antjie Krog: A deeply personal account of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission by journalist Antjie Krog.

“The Boer War” by Thomas Pakenham: An in-depth historical account of the Anglo-Boer War, a significant conflict in South Africa’s history.

“The Heart of Redness” by Zakes Mda: Although a novel, this book provides insightful commentary on the political and cultural landscape of post-apartheid South Africa.

“Kaffir Boy” by Mark Mathabane: A memoir of Mathabane’s childhood in South Africa under apartheid, highlighting the struggles and aspirations of the black population.

“The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence” by Martin Meredith: A comprehensive examination of post-colonial Africa, including South Africa’s path to democracy.

“A Human Being Died That Night” by Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela: The author, a psychologist, recounts her encounters with Eugene de Kock, a notorious apartheid-era assassin, while serving on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“The Bright Continent: Breaking Rules and Making Change in Modern Africa” by Dayo Olopade: Though not exclusively focused on South Africa, this book offers a fresh perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing the continent, including South Africa.

These books cover a range of topics and provide valuable insights into South Africa’s history, politics, and society.

Here are five more if you are looking for more coffee table style books:

Frontiers: The Epic of South Africa’s Creation and the Tragedy of the Xhosa Peopleby Noel Mostert

“Enemy of the People” by Adriaan Basson and Pieter Du Toit

“1001 Things Everyone Should Know About South Africa” by Jeffrey C Stewart

Awesome South Africa” by Derryn Campbell

“Colours of South Africa” by Alex Fan Moniz (Author), Makhosazana Xaba (Author), The Expedition Project (Photographer)

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