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post about country of my skull

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rokob committed Jan 4, 2017
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+---
+layout: post
+title: Country of My Skull
+date: '2016-12-13T20:24:08-08:00'
+categories: book
+tags: book crime death great history nonfiction
+---
+
+[*Country of My Skull*][skull-amazon] is a very good book both in content and style. I had never
+heard about the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) or maybe I had but did not remember the
+details well enough. We went to the Apartheid museum in Johannesburg and I made an offhand remark
+while watching one of the video clips that I found this TRC thing to be interesting. Taya was
+shocked at my lack of knowledge about it and thus recommended I read *Country of My Skull* as a good
+overview of both the TRC as well as to fill in more details about the fall of Apartheid.
+
+It was fascinating in relation to other moments in history when regimes changed either through
+external wars such as Nazi Germany, revolution such as in America, Russia, and France, or through
+civil revolt against authoratative regimes such as in Chile and South Africa. The SA version of
+regime change was unique as well as the regimes themselves. Thus the process involving the TRC was
+necessarily special.
+
+Apartheid is fascinating in its approach to institutionalized racism. The system in the US always
+seems to have an air of trying to hide the racism behind other concepts and getting discrimination
+in through the backdoor. This was not always the case, in particular if one looks at the Jim Crow
+laws, however at least since the mid 1960s the racism has been more subtle. In SA they put it all
+out there and codified what it meant to be white, coloured, or black. You got an ID book which said
+what race you were and therefore defined what you could and could not do. This continued until the
+1990s. The regime change took a long civil war which was both ethnic and racial. It stratified on
+race, gender, economic class, and historical lineage. Calling it just a race war is actually too
+simplifying.
+
+The book is quite a good companion to teh rest of the history by focusing on the entire TRC process
+from ideation to aftermath. As I said, being in South Africa while reading it gave the book a bit
+more of an interesting flavour. I highly recommend reading it especially if you do not know that
+much about Apartheid and the TRC.
+
+
+[skull-amazon]: http://a.co/az2QW58
+

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