The writing and researching of this book over the past seven years has been
a personal journey—by way of desultory student politics and subsequent
political activity that cost me little but taught me much; the good fortune
of experiencing the personal friendship of a small band of South African
activists exiled in Britain and the United States; and an uncle who via Ire-
land and Scotland ended up as a journalist on the Rand Daily Mail. And of
course I count myself among those who have been moved and chastened
by the way the demise of apartheid was conducted, but while desperately
concerned that this experiment in democracy should work, I am mindful
of a friend and colleague, Benita Parry’s, insightful rejoinder that ‘‘Our best
hope for universal emancipation lies in remaining unreconciled to the past
and discontented with the present.’’
I have incurred a huge number of personal and intellectual debts in the
writing and research for this book. And it is certainly true that without the
extraordinary generosity of many individuals, particularly in South Africa,
this book would never have been possible.
Curators and directors of the many South African museums extended far
more assistance than could reasonably be expected and went out of their
way to facilitate my research, often drawing my attention to important ref-
erences and furnishing me with obscure material, despite extremely busy
schedules. In this regard my special thanks goes to Patricia Davison at the
South African Museum, Sandra Prosalendis at the District Six Museum,
Emma Bedford at the South African National Gallery, Rookshana Omar at
KwaMuhle, André Odendaal and Barry Feinberg at the Mayibuye Centre,
Hilary Bruce at MuseuMAfrica, and Robert de Jong at the National Cul-
tural History Museum. Thanks also to Ramzay Abrahams, Rayda Becker,
Gillian Berning, Kathy Brookes, Helen van Coller, Abe Dameneyt, Graham
Dominy, Elda Grobler, Andrew Hall, Lindsay Hooper, Udo Küsel, Mari-
lyn Martin, and Lalou Meltzer for facilitating all kinds of access to materi-
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