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The World that was Ours

by Hilda Bernstein
Persephone book no:

49 50 51


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Nelson Mandela and Percy Yutar, the Prosecutor at the Rivolnia Trial of 1963-4

PREFACE BY HILDA BERNSTEIN
416pp
ISBN 9781906462093

'This has survived as a South African classic not just because it's beautifully written,' wrote Anthony Sampson in the Spectator, 'but because it conveys the combination of ordinariness and danger which is implicit in any totalitarian state.' The World that was Ours is about the events leading up to the 1964 Rivonia Trial when Hilda Bernstein's husband Rusty was acquitted but Mandela and the 'men of Rivonia' received life sentences. 'This passionately political memoir,' observed The Times, 'is vibrant with the dilemmas of everyday family life, quick-witted dialogue, fast-paced adventure and novelistic detail.' Yet the political background is not dwelt on: it is simply taken for granted that civilised South Africans fought apartheid and the uncivilised propped it up. The main strength of the book is as an outstanding personal memoir; in this respect it bears comparison with autobiographies by Nadezhda Mandelstam and Christabel Bielenberg. 'It reads like a thriller page after page... The loveliest of Hilda Bernstein's works about the ugliest of her times' said Albie Sachs in the Independent.


Also available as a Persephone Classic and a Persephone eBook.

Endpaper

The endpapers show a sample of a mid-1960s fabric designed in South Africa for manufacture in Belfast by Courtauld's, sometimes known as the German print.


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Categories: Abroad Biography Education Gender and Race History

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