South Africa

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Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton (1948)

Eloquent, powerful and prescient, this novel of South Africa just before apartheid was formally instituted in the late 1940s is well worth reading or re-reading. The alternating stories of two father and son pairs--black minister Kumalo and his ne'er-do-well son, Absalom, and white landowner Jarvis and his status quo-challenging son, Arthur--strip away the self-justifying rhetoric of white power to reveal the staggering human price we pay when one group systematically exploits another. A page turner that has become a classic for a very good reason.

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