Coming to Terms: South Africa's Search for Truth

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Public Affairs, 1999 - Political Science - 380 pages
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Coming to Terms is a groundbreaking consideration of a country's attempt to put a troubled history behind it and reach a new stage of development. Martin Meredith takes an unprecedented took into the key cases presented to the commission -- both those involving sensational allegations and well-known figures such as Stephen Biko and Winnie Mandela, and those that deal with the routine violence, injustice, and even torture that shaped the lives of average South Africans. In vivid narrative and dramatic testimony he brings to life many stories of individuals -- heroes, villains, and those who fell uneasily into the grey area in between -- as well as the larger story of a country attempting to move beyond a legacy of violence.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tina Rosenberg then takes a more global look at how nations must deal with a repressive past, drawing on her own conversations with victims and victimizers in more than a decade of reporting from Latin America, Eastern Europe, South Africa and Bosnia. She evaluates the strategies different countries have tried in the name of truth and justice, and looks at controversial international developments that open exciting new possibilities for countries wishing to hold past dictators accountable for their crimes.

The only book to offer a complete and even-handed account of the work and the moral issues raised by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Coming to Terms is essential reading for anyone interested in South Africa, human fights, or the evolution of democracy.

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COMING TO TERMS: South Africa's Search for Truth

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A judicious appraisal of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As a way of addressing its apartheid past and healing the divisions within the country, the makers of the new South African ... Read full review

Coming to terms: South Africa's search for truth

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Drawing on his years as a journalist in South Africa, Meredith (Nelson Mandela: A Biography) here analyzes the post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)--the governmental body whose ... Read full review


Reconstructing the Past
3 Vlakplaas
4 Prime Evil

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About the author (1999)

Martin Meredith has been a foreign correspondent for the London Observer and Sunday Times.

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