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review 2017-01-24 02:47
Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present - Harriet A. Washington

I had to read a few chapters of this book in college and finally went back to read the whole thing through.


It is a horrible fact that this book had to be written, especially considering its length and that it would be impossible to cover all of the injustices African American have faced in regards to the American medial system.


But Washington does an amazing job examining this dark topic. This is a great book. It is often difficult to read, but it definitely a must read.


I really liked that Washington made it a point to go beyond the Tuskegee syphilis study, because many people (my own education included) really only know about the syphilis study. It is the go-to example of racial injustice in American medical research. But the sad truth is that there are so many more examples as well. Obviously, Washington could not possibly go into all of them, but she does a very good job of discussing a few.


While the book often feels very negative due to the subject matter, Washington ends on a high note by making some suggestions on how the system could be improved upon to ensure that people are able to give actual informed consent and are not taken advantage of by biased researchers.


This is a phenomenal book. It is thorough and well-written.


The language used if often not very objective, but when discussing human rights issues, it is understandable that one would use emotionally-saturated words.


This is a very important book, especially for those in the field of medicine. Washington's examination of African American's iatrophobia and its history have very important implications for health care at the present time and in the future.

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review 2015-12-11 11:47
Mike Nicol: Bad Cop
Bad Cop: Ein Kapstadt-Thriller - Mike Nicol

Bartholomeu Pescado, genannt Fish, ist ein surfender Privatdetektiv in Südafrika, der Gras an Uni-Professoren vertickt, um über die Runden zu kommen und sich regelmäßig von seiner Mutter anhören muss, doch nun endlich erwachsen zu werden und seinen Jura-Abschluss zu machen. Geld hätte er tatsächlich nötig, denn Aufträge -auch von seiner Freundin, Anwältin Vicky Kahn, werden immer knapper. 

Mehr aus Zufall gerät ausgerechnet Fish dem "Bad Cop" des Buches, dem ehemaligen Polizeipräsidenten Jakob Mkezi, in die Quere, als dieser versucht, sein Vermögen zu vergrößern. 

Erzählt wird auf mehreren Zeitebenen. Die eingefügten, zwischen 1977 und 1994 spielenden "Todesschwadron"-Kapitel, erzählen die Geschichte von vier Geheimagenten, die sich als Auftragskiller für das Regime verdingen und nach dem Ende der Apartheid untertauchen. Wie Mike Nicol diese Ebenen zusammenführt und die scheinbar unzusammenhängenden Ereignisse miteinander verknüpft, ist virtuos und zeigt ein Prinzip des Buches auf: Wie die Vergangenheit die Gegenwart einholt - und das meist im negativen Sinne. 

Ein sehr empfehlenswerter Thriller.







Mike Nicol: Bad Cop. Ein Kapstadt-Thriller. Übersetzt von Mechthild Barth. München: btb Verlag, 2015. 544 Seiten, 9,99 Euro. ISBN 978-3-442-74845-7

(Disclaimer: Ich erhielt ein kostenloses Rezensionsexemplar vom Randomhouse Bloggerportal, vielen Dank)

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review 2015-10-03 00:00
THE ZEBRA AFFAIRE: An Apartheid Love Story (The Sub-Saharan Saga Book 1)
THE ZEBRA AFFAIRE: An Apartheid Love Sto... THE ZEBRA AFFAIRE: An Apartheid Love Story (The Sub-Saharan Saga Book 1) - Mark Fine Captivating...Enlightening...Passionate

This eloquently written novel gripped at my heart strings. The words seemed to leap off the page and come to life.

In South Africa, the Spring of 1976, life for a black man from Malawi and a white Afrikaner living in Johannesburg could not be more vastly different...and separate.

After a near fatal car crash almost blinds and disables Stanwell, Elsa comes to his aid. Fate quite literally yielded Stanwell at Elsa's feet when his pick up truck crashed. Elsa, not seeing a black man but only a man...another human being in need. She risks it all to nurse him back to health. And with the assistance of her friend, as well as Stanwell's employer DGF, Stanwell receives proper medical treatment. An unlikely and forbidden love affair blooms under the racist rule of the apartheid government.

While at times it was hard to read about the hate and degradation so many endured under this racist regime, it was a real eye opener. Mark Fine beautifully weaves historical facts and references in his work. I highly recommend this book, especially if you enjoy history and culture.

5 out 5 stars!

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review 2015-01-31 08:07
An Immoral Proposal: Forbidden Love Under Apartheid - Jennifer B Graham

"An Immoral Proposal: Forbidden Love Under Apartheid" by Jennifer B. Graham is an amazing memoir about a 'Coloured' woman in South Africa during Apartheid. Showing what her life was like and that of other 'Coloureds' compared to those of the Blacks and the Whites, Graham brings not only a new or under-representated perspective, she also opens up honestly about her individual cicrumstances. A heart-felt love story, a gripping memoir and much valued insights for this reader. I liked the way Graham presented the facts and let them often speak for themselves.
An eye-opener and an emotional experience that I cannot recommend enough.

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review 2012-01-10 00:00
My Race: A Jewish Girl Growing Up Under Apartheid in South Africa
My Race: A Jewish Girl Growing Up Under Apartheid in South Africa - Lorraine Lotzof Abramson From Latvia to South Africa, from South Africa to America, Lorraine Lotzof Abramson traces her life and the lives of her parents and ancestors. Simplistically written, almost as if it were occurring concurrently, as she wrote it, her memories illustrate the tyranny that was the South African government and the freedom that was inherent in America’s.
As she describes growing up in South Africa, her life seems to progress like a fairy tale. She is a track star, she meets a champion swimmer; they fall in love and marry and move to America. There they raise a family and thrive.
The deeper part of the story is the story of Apartheid and the effect it has on both the white and non-white community. As a Jew, she is aware of the fact that her people have been oppressed and have escaped to South Africa, where they have become complicit with oppressors, albeit, somewhat against their will, victims of the South African way of life. Nevertheless, now they are on the wrong side of justice. She witnesses her father physically abusing the blacks that work for him when he perceives them insulting her in some minor way. Although her mom is more liberal and admits that Apartheid is wrong, she complies with all manner of its rules. In some ways, the book attempts to explain the lack of effort on their part to attempt to change or right the wrongs committed against anyone not white by excusing them because it was impossible to fight against the system without experiencing the same punishment the non-whites would have suffered. Yet, all it takes is that kind of silence to allow such cruelty to exist, to allow such crimes against humanity.
The title is a double entendre illuminating the problems caused by the color of one's skin and also highlighting her running skill which truly opens up a new world for her to explore, beyond the small village of Rietz, South Africa. Until she left the continent, she was unaware of the way others lived, the way blacks and whites, Indians and Asians, etc., lived together, but even when she knew her way of life was wrong, she did nothing to try and effect a change, but instead continued to make excuses about having to ignore the injustices to protect her own safety.
In the end, the memoir is a story about growing up under Apartheid in South Africa, a love story and a family saga, coming full circle back to Latvia where the author’s relatives still reside. History will bear witness to the oppression that existed in South Africa and also to its peaceful end under the aegis of Nelson Mandela, in spite of the repressive regime that existed there for so long, supported by a cruel population of whites, only concerned with their own welfare and security.
Mandela has not been known for his support of Israel, so I was surprised to learn that Lorraine seemed to support and admire him, perhaps it was just because of the way in which the transition from Apartheid to democracy transpired under his leadership and his lack of bitterness after having been imprisoned unjustly for 27 years. Also, I don’t think the author could have had some of the memories that she claims to have had, like the ones when she was two years old or even five. They seemed to be too vivid and exact to be credible. Most people do not have such clear, early memories. The timeline flowed as if it was in the present rather than being shared past memories. Also, the assessments and reactions to some of the events seemed far too mature for the age when she experienced them, like her response to being sent away from home. She seemed to be the perfect child. I think a great deal of poetic license was taken to make this a likeable, readable story. Perhaps events were enhanced and combined for the sake of the narrative.
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