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January 06 , 2009

Helen Suzman

Bright Star in a Dark Chamber: The Biography


Helen Suzman was the voice of South Africa's conscience during the darkest days of apartheid. She stood alone in parliament, confronted by a legion of highly chauvinist male politicians. Armed with the relentless determination and biting wit for which she became renowned, Suzman battled the racist regime and earned her reputation as a legendary anti-apartheid campaigner. Despite constant antagonism and the threat of violence, she forced into the global spotlight the injustices of the country's minority rule. Access to Suzman's papers, including her unpublished correspondence with Nelson Mandela, was granted by her family to the author, former British ambassador to South Africa Robin Renwick, who has penned a book rich with examples of her humour and political brilliance. This first full biography goes beyond her famous struggle against apartheid into her criticisms of the post-apartheid government. It is a fascinating insight into the life of a truly great South African and her role in one of the most important struggles in modern history.

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