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Kaffir Boy

Kaffir Boy

by Mark Mathabane

Analysis: Tough-o-Meter

We've got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you'll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(4) Base Camp

The language used in this book is easy and the plot is so action-packed that, despite its length, you can whirl through it in no time. The difficult part comes in understanding the political and religious ideologies that created and maintained apartheid. It's also important, and somewhat difficult, to comprehend the scope of control that apartheid ideologues were able to exert over South African society for almost fifty years. Using military and police apparatus, the government was able to map society according to skin color, erecting vast barriers between the races that were impossible to overcome unless you were willing to sacrifice your body (literally, in some cases). That such a system endured for so long is boggling for someone who has not lived through it first hand.

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