Enlightened Afrikaner and his newspaper
THE name Max du Preez means different things to different people. For some he is the voice of reason, for others the enemy of the Afrikaner nation.
Title - Pale Native: Memories of a Renegade Reporter
Author: Max du Preez
Publisher: Zebra Press
Some see him as a fearless investigative journalist who calls a spade a spade, others think he is bombastic and inflexible.
Whatever your opinion, he is a sharp and colourful commentator and when he states his view you had better take notice.
This is not a new book. It is a translation and updated version of Pale Native: Memories of a Renegade Reporter, which first appeared in 2003.
It is a very difficult book to categorise. In one sense it is an autobiography and in another a history of Die Vrye Weekblad, that brave independent Afrikaans newspaper that appeared from November 1988 to February 1994 and of which Du Preez was founder and editor.
It is no wonder that a huge part of the book is devoted to the newspaper. This was the first Afrikaans newspaper critical of the National Party (NP) point of view and it was severely penalised by them for its non-conformist views.
But just as Du Preez spoke out against the NP he nowadays does not shy away from showing up the ANC as racist, corrupt and materialistic.
Most of all, the book is an important overview of recent history through the eyes of a particular brand of Afrikaner - the enlightened and thinking type.
The strength of the book lies in its documentation of events that played - and are still playing - such an important part in forming South African history, from the point of view of an Afrikaner, one that is at the same time an Afrikaan.
Vivid descriptions and interpretations of important historical events Du Preez had witnessed will make it a valuable reference work for future history analysts. A thorough index will aid those looking for specific subjects.
If you have a narrow, stereotypical view of the Afrikaner and Afrikaans journalism, read this book to experience another side.
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