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Songs and Secrets summary » 8 Ð ❮Read❯ ➱ Songs and Secrets Author Barry Gilder – A decade into its hard won democracy South Africa and its ruling party the ANC have been through turbulent times Confrontation between Thabo Mbeki and his then deputy Jacob Zuma; the dismissal of Zuma A decade into its hard woIng It follows the author into the ANC's military camps in Angola to Moscow for spycraft training to the underground in Botswana and into leadership positions in the administration of the new government Gilder's frank memoir explores the personal political psychological and historical realities that gave birth to the new South Africa in particular the oft ignored conditions in which the ANC government tried to turn apartheid aroun. This is a wonderful book Gilder's modesty is refreshing given the propensity of memoirists to glorify their own roles His generosity toward the foibles of his colleagues in the struggle is really uite moving His message about how hard it is to maintain a committed course when the many distractions of personal interest rival for individuals the importance of the general struggle after liberation is sobering but offers a good explanation of what appear to be ANC mis steps Gilder's techniue of interspersing his story with contemporary international events is terrific It successfully puts the ANC's struggle into historical context countering the tendency of historical narratives to proceed in isolation Gilder deserves thanks and admiration for his participation in and reflections on South Africa's and the ANC's astounding stories

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A decade into its hard won democracy South Africa and its ruling party the ANC have been through turbulent times Confrontation between Thabo Mbeki and his then deputy Jacob Zuma the dismissal of Zuma as Deputy Zuma's defeat of Mbeki in ANC presidential elections and the recall of Mbeki as South African president are Songs and PDFEPUB or events that left many ANC cadres politically and emotionally aghast Were these events the resul. Being a Dane with an interest in the struggle for freedom and democracy in South Africa I have just read Barry Gilder’s Songs and Secrets which I highly recommend to others It gives a vivid and first hand insight into the struggle against apartheid and for democracy from 1976 where the story begins with the author going into exile as a young freedom fighter of Jewish descent This book has filled a gap for me because I have only followed the political development in South Africa after 1994 in the media and on a few visits More than half of the book is devoted to the time after the ANC won the election in 1994 and Nelson Mandela became President Thus the book is unfolding the exciting story about the struggle to turn South Africa around after 1994 The writer has a captivating way of telling his story and his book is well written with a good use of little humoristic episodes The content is tough stuff The author was positioned at the top of South Africa’s Intelligence Services National and International and in the Ministry of Home Affairs where he held the position of Director General It is shocking to hear how the Apartheid National Intelligence Headuarters in 1993 had destroyed 44 tons of paper and microfilm records “We were told of truckloads of records making a daily run to the furnaces of the Pretoria smelter of Iscor” the same happened to files of the Apartheid police and military The Apartheid regime thus eliminated “thousands of voices that should have been part of the nation’s memory” and prevented the new democratic government access to the secrets of the former state Gilder reminds us in his final chapter that history normally is written by the victors But this is not the case with South Africa The reason is first of all the negotiated revolution and its many considerations to the inhabitants of the former Apartheid system That the story which Barry Gilder is conveying to us in “Songs and Secrets” is of invaluable importance can also be seen in a personal experience I had last year in Bloemfontain I was invited to the celebrations of ANC’s 100 birthday and was placed at a lodge with other guests This is what the white owner of the lodge’s could say about Apartheid time “I am not responsible It was my forefathers who did it” He was in his sixties and had lived for as many years during Apartheid as Barry Gilder But “Songs and Secrets” is not about placing blame or guilt It is a book about how difficult it is to turn a government from being racialist uneual oppressive and exploiting to becoming a democratic and just society with eual rights to all its citizens

review Songs and Secrets

Songs and SecretsT of personal enmity Was it the beginning of the break up of the broad church that the ANC had become to unite all forces in the struggle against apartheid Or did the roots lie in the global dynamic that allowed South Africa its freedom as the Cold War cooledWritten in an anecdotal and cinematic style Songs and Secrets explores these uestions through the viewfinder of a former high ranking member of the ANC's secret intelligence w. Apartheid coloured my life from birth to 1994 when I was 41 years old However the enfranchised South Africa is still very much the old South Africa in so many respects with a largely unrepentant previously privileged group and many old racists simply continuing as before with 'liberal' racists from that time joining the ranks of the old racists Then we have many racists being proudly racist but hail from among the ranks of the new voters It's a powder keg So when I read that a white South African contemporary had refused to serve in the neo Nazi SADF and instead joined MK I was astounded I hoped he would go into depth as to why he took this extreme step Songs and Secrets documents an amazing journey by an idealistic young South African NUSAS executive who volunteered to serve in the ANC trenches ran the gauntlet of Apartheid spies and assassins then had to serve with those who had tried to keep Mandela and others incarcerated and had been trying very hard to kill him Gilder gave me very valuable insight into an history which was censored during the fascist era and he has crystallised so much that was puzzling about the new era One sees that far South Africans even among the votelesswere pro Apartheid than we ever realised Far people at one time or the other were traitors and spies and betrayed our human rights anti apartheid cause than I realised And sadly many of those people have a great deal of power even today And they exercise that power Barry has written a brave and perceptive book which I really enjoyed reading Thank you Mr Gilder Your book is invaluable I need to read it again and write a further review