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50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa [Paperback]

Alexander Parker

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Book Description

Feb. 1 2011 1920137335 978-1920137335

Delving into culture, politics, sports, and war, this list of the worst villains in South Africa's history is inspired by books such as 110 People Who Are Screwing up America. The project provides a solid a roster of people have steered the good ship South Africa firmly in the wrong direction by virtue of their ruinous megalomania, foul beliefs, or general idiocy. Among those profiled are 1652 explorer Jan van Riebeeck, warmonger Lord Milner, Cecil Rhodes, and sports villain Richie Benaud.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Jacana Media (Feb. 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1920137335
  • ISBN-13: 978-1920137335
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 222 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,537,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Alexander Parker is the author of 25 Cars to Drive Before You Die.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My gat af gelag April 28 2011
By Mike Mellor - Published on Amazon.com
Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice" is flawed by anti-semitism but that doesn't stop it from being great literature.

"50 People" has flaws. It isn't great literature but it's damn good satire. Alex Parker writes fluently and well for a fast-paced read. If you buy it as a toilet book you're going to spend a lot more time on the throne than you planned.

Parker takes aim at some dangerous targets and I'd be surprised if he doesn't get death threats. Naïvete or courage?

The book is flawed by some strange inclusions. Kevin Pietersen's a twit but so what? He isn't a lead character. He's an extra, or is it a bye? (Perhaps Mrs. Parker remarked that KP is quite good-looking.)

Sol Kerzner? Are you mad, Alex? He's our hero!

The bitter expat and the polo guy? Probably included to add a white balance to the collection.

The exclusions harm the book even more. Winnie, Nkosazana Z, and Robert McBride surely deserved their chance at the limelight.

Parker totally fails to mention Essop Pahad's greatest stuff-up, namely Outcomes Based Education, creating a new Lost Generation to match and even outdo the tragedy of the Soweto rioters.

I don't mean this as criticism. I'm hoping that Alex and his editor, Tim Richman, will take my comments into account when drafting the second edition.

Alex Parker did not intend the book to be taken too seriously. He happily indulges in wild exaggeration, unfounded rumour, and glib assumptions, but it's all in a spirit of challenge.

F'example in the Mark Thatcher profile Parker praises the SA Police for their excellent detective work. (Completely straight-faced too.)

If you don't agree with some, many, or any of his statements (HECK but he writes a lot of opinionated drivel), stop and think how you would go about refuting him. Not easy, is it? You just sort of generally took it for granted that everybody knows that...

So you thought you knew South Africa. Huh. Buy this book.
3.0 out of 5 stars The Guilty? Dec 30 2012
By Patrick Clarke - Published on Amazon.com
Quite bizarre to see Richie Benaud, Sepp Blatter and Kevin Pietersen in this list but not Winnie Mandela, JG Strijdom and Mike Gatting. Other than that, it's certainly a comprehensive list of targets.
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly Written Drivel June 8 2012
By Nicci Davis - Published on Amazon.com
One of the worst written books ever. Reads as if it was knocked up in a single sitting one afternoon. Don't waste your time.
4.0 out of 5 stars History will never be the same again Jan. 15 2012
By Mozart Fan - Published on Amazon.com
I loved the book. I grew up in South Africa. It reverses much of what I was taught in History class. My history teachers would be turning in their graves. I wonder if they even knew how incorrect their facts were.
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious! Sept. 12 2011
By Penny - Published on Amazon.com
I picked this book up at the airport; best flight of my life! Parker's descriptions of the 50 obvious and not so obvious candidates are great and true, and Zapiro's cartoons work perfectly. The book is funny and informative at the same time. I give it a well-deserved 5 stars!

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