Playing the Enemy Essay

2461 Words May 8th, 2013 10 Pages
The South Africa the world knows today was not always one of general unity and democracy but of division and supremacy throughout the races. John Carlin’s, “Playing the Enemy,” guides you through South Africa’s journey during the nineteen eighties and early nineties to non-racial democracy. Through firsthand experiences of many South Africans including the dismantler of apartheid and former president, Nelson Mandela, Carlin helps the reader understand what Mandela and many others had to endure to make equality a reality for black South Africans. Carlin’s focus on the destruction of apartheid is coupled with the 1995 Rugby World Cup held in South Africa, more specifically South Africa’s Springboks and how Mandela used them to unite the …show more content…
Carlin introduces people from all walks of South African life, including blacks against apartheid, whites that both agree and disagree with change, bitter enders, political figures, military groups and other diverse groups. All of these individuals give some perspective into how the long withstanding change came to place. Also, he goes into detail about the small and more important events that happened between nineteen eighty and nineteen ninety-five that helped shape modern South Africa which was led by Mandela’s African National Congress party. Events such as Mandela’s secret meetings with P.W. Botha, the president from 1978-1984, his eventual release from prison after twenty-seven years, Justice Bekebeke’s journey from death row to a respected lawyer, the Springbok’s miracle Rugby World Cup win and many other milestones that happened along the way. John Carlin gives the reader an assortment of perspectives to help one understand from all angles how South Africa came to be what it is today. The angle Carlin and much of the world focuses on when it comes to South Africa and it’s departure from apartheid rule is the saint-like Nelson Mandela and his tremendous efforts to unite his nation. Mandela, jailed for twenty-seven years for resisting apartheid rules, took this as motivation while he was contained instead of letting it frustrate him. Carlin aids the reader immediately in seeing Mandela’s impeccable charm by displaying Nelson’s ability to win

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