Pocket-sized trip into local history

12 October 2009

Francis Wilson

Promised yourself you'd bone up on South African history, but you find the sheer size of the tomes on the topic too frightening? Then pick up a copy of Dinosaurs, Diamonds and Democracy: A short, short history of South Africa by Francis Wilson, UCT emeritus professor of economics.

On shelves now and a steal at under R140, DD&D is pretty comprehensive for its picture-packed, pocket-sized convenience.

It kicks off 3.5 billion years ago (greenstone rocks in the Barberton Mountains preserve the fossilised remains of ancient bacteria and the earliest records of life) and ends with the 2009 elections.

Covered in the concise 18 000 words are the Iron Age, the industrial revolution, apartheid, the advent of democracy, and everything in between. "I was trying to write a history that is relevant to all South Africans," says Wilson.

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Monday Monthly

Volume 28 Edition 15

12 Oct 2009

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