Under Our Skin by Donald McRae
A White Family's Journey Through South Africa's Darkest Years [Hardcover]

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Refreshingly, this book does not attempt to over-analyse white South African identity, in the vein of other literature and journalism that it is tempting to describe as the unbearable whiteness of being.
-Guardian

Synopsis

The true story of an ordinary white family living under apartheid in South Africa, torn apart by an extraordinary country. Don McRae came of age in a South Africa where his father would call the black men he met 'boy' and where his mother gave their black servants old tin mugs and metal plates for their meals in the backyard. The McRaes, like so many white people, seemed oblivious to the violent injustices of apartheid. As the author grew up, the political differences between father and son widened and when Don refused to join up for National Service, risking imprisonment or exile overseas, the two were torn apart. The detention and torture of two young white doctors, Neil Aggett and Liz Floyd, then unhinged the family in dramatic circumstances. At John Vorster Square, the notorious security police headquarters in Johannesburg, the couple suffered a terrible and haunting fate. Years later, the author discovered that the father with whom he had fought so bitterly had transformed himself into a political hero. Risking everything one dark and rainy night, Ian McRae travelled secretly into the black township of Soweto to meet members of Nelson Mandela's then banned African National Congress, trying to bring power to black South Africa. He had no political ambitions; he was just a man trying to replace the worst in himself with something better. Under Our Skin is a memoir of these tumultuous years in South Africa's history, told through the author's family. It offers an intimate and penetrating perspective on life under apartheid, and tells a story of courage and fear, hope and love, especially between a father and his son. About the Author Donald McRae is the award-winning author of seven books. He is one of only two authors to have won the prestigious William Hill award twice, for Dark Trade and In Black & White. As a journalist he has twice won Sports Interviewer of the Year - as well as winning Sports Feature Writer of the Year.
 

About Donald McRae

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Donald McRae is the award-winning author of seven books. He is one of only two authors to have won the prestigious William Hill award twice, for Dark Trade and In Black & White. As a journalist he has twice won Sports Interviewer of the Year - as well as winning Sports Feature Writer of the Year. His latest book, The Old Devil, is also published by Simon & Schuster.
 
Published March 1, 2012 by Simon & Schuster Ome. 432 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, History.
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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by David Smith on Jun 02 2012

Refreshingly, this book does not attempt to over-analyse white South African identity, in the vein of other literature and journalism that it is tempting to describe as the unbearable whiteness of being.

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