A Man of Africa

The Political Thought of Harry Oppenheimer
by Kalim Rajab
rrp $18.08

Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa

Publication Date: May 15, 2017

ISBN: 9781776092123

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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Principled reformer or duplicitous exploiter? The contested legacy of Harry Oppenheimer reflects the tensions involved in dealing with South Africa’s complex past. The head of a sprawling global business empire, Oppenheimer played an influential role in twentieth-century South Africa – a role celebrated by some and condemned by others. This book investigates his political thinking over half a century, and considers the nature of his opposition to apartheid as well as his contribution to the democratic age ushered in by Tambo and Mandela. A Man of Africa presents Oppenheimer’s views on liberalism, apartheid, socialism, sanctions, trade unions, education, geopolitics and the legacy of Cecil John Rhodes. Each topic is explored via extracts from his speeches, and is followed by an assessment by prominent South Africans such as Kgalema Motlanthe, Albie Sachs, Clem Sunter, Denis Beckett, Bobby Godsell, Jonathan Jansen and Xolela Mangcu. Fascinating and insightful, A Man of Africa shines new light on one of South Africa’s most powerful and multifaceted figures, and reflects on the role of principled business in a political economy.