• The Inheritors

  • An Intimate Portrait of South Africa's Racial Reckoning
  • By: Eve Fairbanks
  • Narrated by: Janina Edwards
  • Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A dozen years in the making, The Inheritors weaves together the stories of three ordinary South Africans over five tumultuous decades in a sweeping and exquisite look at what really happens when a country resolves to end white supremacy.

Dipuo grew up on the south side of a mine dump that segregated Johannesburg’s black townships from the white-only city. Some nights, she hiked to the top. To a South African teenager in the 1980seven an anti-apartheid activist like Dipuothe divide that separated her from the glittering lights on the other side appeared eternal. But in 1994, the world’s last explicit racial segregationist regime collapsed to make way for something unprecedented. 

With penetrating psychological insight, intimate reporting, and bewitching prose, The Inheritors tells the story of a country in the throes of a great reckoning. Through the lives of Dipuo, her daughter Malaika, and Christoone of the last white South Africans drafted to fight for the apartheid regimeaward-winning journalist Eve Fairbanks probes what happens when people once locked into certain kinds of power relations find their status shifting. Observing subtle truths about race and power that extend well beyond national borders, she explores questions that preoccupy so many of us today: How can we let go of our pasts, as individuals and as countries? How should historical debts be paid? And how can a person live an honorable life in a society thatfor better or worsethey no longer recognize?

©2022 Eve Fairbanks. All rights reserved. (P)2022 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

“Easily the most compelling new nonfiction book I’ve read in years. The Inheritors is not just a spellbinding, beautifully written story about apartheid South Africa, but also an augury for America today.” (Suketu Mehta, author of Maximum City and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize)

“A brilliantly reported and deeply felt account of contemporary South Africa, written with a sharp eye for the ironies and contradictions of the society and the disturbing implications it may have for today’s America.” (Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History and the Last Man)

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Pronunciation homework needed

The only part that detracted from the listening experience was the lack of homework in Afrikaans pronunciation, which had the unfortunate effect of dumping you out of the otherwise absorbing narrative.