n Historia - A nuanced history of a liberation army
Umkhonto we Sizwe: A Jacana Pocket History, Janet Cherry : book review

Volume 58, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0018-229X



This pocket book by scholar-activist Janet Cherry published in the Jacana history series provides a brief introduction to the history of the ANC's armed wing, (MK), "arguably the last of the great liberation armies of the twentieth century" (p 10). The book does not really cover new ground in the study of MK. Rather its strength lies in the sensitive interweaving of political and strategic analyses of MK's trajectory with personal testimonies by former MK cadres (drawn from the massive oral history archive of the South African Democracy Education Trust, the records of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and autobiographical accounts). Through these sources, the author paints a nuanced story of "paradox and contradiction, successes and failures" (p 9).

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