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Follows the author into the ANC's military camps in Angola to Moscow for spycraft training to the underground in Botswana and into leadership positions in the administration of the new government Gilder's frank memoir explores the personal political psychological and historical realities that gave birth to the new South Africa in particular the oft ignored conditions in which the ANC government tried to turn apartheid aroun. 50 out of 5 stars 150 out of 5 stars5 star1 4 star03 star02 star01 star0 See the customer reviewShare your thoughts with other customersWrite a customer reviewMost Helpful Customer Reviews50 out of 5 stars uniue insider account of SA revolution and post apartheid governance April 7 2013By Robin BFormatHardcoverIt is rare in one lifetime to go from normal suburban childhood to hippy folkie to guerrilla revolutionary to super spy in an elected government but that's Barry Gilder life arcIts even rarer to have this life written down in such a credible and thoughtful way Maybe the Russian French and American revolutions had their Barry Gilders If so I haven't read those booksSongs and Secrets is one of those niche books about a niche region that will probably disappear But it is an incredible story about one of the great human mass victories of the last 100 years The transformation of one of the most humiliating and well armed regimes in the sorry history of global racism into a pretty high functioning democratic state in a continent that is almost dependant on South Africa succeedingThe role of a small minority of whites who fought apartheid not with placards and wine boycotts but with their hearts souls and bodies many of them jewish and communist was absolutely critical in the strategy and strength of the anti apartheid struggle Joe Slovo Wolfie Kodesh Ruth First Albie Sachs and Ronnie Kasrils were the better known names but guys like Barry Gilder worked in the trenches undercover at enormous personal risk There are sections of this book Gilder in wintry Moscow undergoing spy training; Gilder the only white guy in an Angolan MK camp Gilder in charge of military ops right under the noses of the apartheid beasts in Gaberone Botswana that read like a movie that Hollywood would never makeHalfway through the book apartheid suddenly ends and you think the excitement is over But Gilder is inducted into the re shaping of the security and intelligence functions of the new South African government and what follows is the best eye witness first person account of why that story has been such a disappointment to people who though the end of apartheid was the end of injustice racial suspicion and apartheid manipulationsNow the man is retired and sailing his boat around South AfricaOnly a seadog could have a yarn like this Five stars

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Songs SecretsA decade into its hard won democracy South Africa and its ruling party the ANC have been through turbulent times Confrontation between Thabo Mbeki and his then deputy Jacob Zuma the dismissal of Zuma as Deputy Zuma's defeat of Mbeki in ANC presidential elections and the recall of Mbeki as South African president are events that left many ANC cadres politically and emotionally aghast Were these events the result of personal. Barry Gilder's pen is as well tuned and melodious as his guitar and his songs A young white singer mobilising his fellow students on campus against apartheid Gilder has done his compulsory 9 months military service in the apartheid army but a few months before the 1976 Soweto uprising he refuses a call up which would almost certainly lead him to fight on the wrong side in Angola He has to go into exile where he is accepted in the ANC and chooses to join the armed struggle The book starts strongly with a flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg during which Gilder and an old comrade from struggle days painfully exchange their feelings about present day problems in the ANC their silences filled with lyrical descriptions of the landscapes they fly over In part I Gilder then describes his 15 years in the liberation struggle his socialisation in Umkhonto we Sizwe the armed wing of the ANC training in a guerilla camp in Angola intelligence training in Moscow and underground work mainly in Botswana Part II covers his return to South Africa till his retirement in from government service mainly in intelligence and the ANC's 100th anniversary in 2012 Extensive footnotes ensure the story is as fascinating to anyone not familiar with the subject as to someone who has also been involved in the liberation struggle and stays close to post apartheid South Africa like myself Knowing a number of the people and situations Barry Gilder writes about and having read many comrades' memoirs this book is one of the best Reading was often reliving my own experience reliving the words sounds and smells the comradeship adrenaline and the awful but vital suspiciousness the pain of loss the successes deceptions and next projects brief all the intensity of the years of struggle and the ANC in exile of life in the middle of the turbulent stream of History Then the years after victory that we had imagined differently ignoring what older wiser comrades told us it would be another even harder and 'protracted' struggle And although noone could have foreseen the very different situation South Africa and the world finds itself in since 1994 that is the new struggle Gilder paints in fine sensitive lines without allowing himself or the reader to give up and lose sight of the horizon Gilder feels the soul of the ANC very much alive at its 100th anniversary celebrations Today we are a movement not a political party not a government We are the indefatigable flow of the river of history the waters that propel us forward drawing their strength and their momentum from their sources in the mountains far behind us driving us ever forward to that peaceful calm bountiful ocean we promised ourselves our people our children

Barry Gilder ¼ 5 Free read

Songs Secrets Free read ✓ 105 ´ ❮Read❯ ➵ Songs Secrets ➹ Author Barry Gilder – A decade into its hard won democracy South Africa and its ruling party the ANC have been through turbulent times Confrontation between Thabo Mbeki and his then deputy Jacob Zuma; the dismissal of Zuma A decade into its Enmity Was it the beginning of the break up of the broad church that the ANC had become to unite all forces in the struggle against apartheid Or did the roots lie in the global dynamic that allowed South Africa its freedom as the Cold War cooledWritten in an anecdotal and cinematic style Songs and Secrets explores these uestions through the viewfinder of a former high ranking member of the ANC's secret intelligence wing It. Apartheid coloured my life from birth to 1994 when I was 41 years old However the enfranchised South Africa is still very much the old South Africa in so many respects with a largely unrepentant previously privileged group and many old racists simply continuing as before with 'liberal' racists from that time joining the ranks of the old racists Then we have many racists being proudly racist but hail from among the ranks of the new voters It's a powder keg So when I read that a white South African contemporary had refused to serve in the neo Nazi SADF and instead joined MK I was astounded I hoped he would go into depth as to why he took this extreme step Songs and Secrets documents an amazing journey by an idealistic young South African NUSAS executive who volunteered to serve in the ANC trenches ran the gauntlet of Apartheid spies and assassins then had to serve with those who had tried to keep Mandela and others incarcerated and had been trying very hard to kill him Gilder gave me very valuable insight into an history which was censored during the fascist era and he has crystallised so much that was puzzling about the new era One sees that far South Africans even among the votelesswere pro Apartheid than we ever realised Far people at one time or the other were traitors and spies and betrayed our human rights anti apartheid cause than I realised And sadly many of those people have a great deal of power even today And they exercise that power Barry has written a brave and perceptive book which I really enjoyed reading Thank you Mr Gilder Your book is invaluable I need to read it again and write a further review