Book review: A Rainbow in the Night: The Tumultuous Birth of South Africa by Dominique Lapierre (9780306818479)

Mr. Lapierre relates the history of South Africa from 1652 when Dutchman Jan van Riebeeck lands in the Cape to plant lettuce to 1994 when Nelson Mandela becomes South Africa’s first black president. There are great hardships and great triumphs described and the perseverance of the African people is remarkable and commendable. Mr. Lapierre states in his bibliography that he “wanted to recount, as accurately as possible, a fabulous human epic” which I find he does very well. I admit that I didn’t know much about South Africa’s history and after reading Mr. Lapierre’s historical account have been awakened to the devastation that apartheid had caused for the South African people.

The book contains informative and moving images and the appendices contain a short summary of what each noted person is doing today, some excerpts of the seventeen hundred laws and measures instituted by apartheid legislators, a chronology, a glossary, a bibliography, an explanation and some information on charitable organizations, image credits, acknowledgments and a very thorough index. I commend Mr. Lapierre’s hard work in researching and writing this book and his humanitarian efforts to help destitute children in India, Africa, and South America to where half of the royalties of this book are donated.

Thank you to Mr. Lapierre and De Capo Press for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

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