Diary Of A Bad Year: President Mbeki’s 2007 by Imraan Coovadia Letters To The Nation

Writer’s Brief

At the end of April 2008, then South African President Thabo Mbeki sent a letter to US president Bush vehemently critiquing his stance on Zimbabwe (the story story broke and caused a furor in the press in May 2008).

Often described as aloof, stoic, inaccessible in person, Mbeki was most comfortable and outspoken on the page. A prolific letter writer, his weekly Friday missive to the nation frequently combined political commentary with academic analysis, passages of internal monologue, literary gestures and wry political ploys.

Reading Mbeki’s letters: we read Mbeki’s weekly “letter to the Nation” as a historical archive, political treatise, an autobiography and an epic epistolary novel, a fragmented book that offers rare insights into a man, a country, a continent.

The online archive of his letters spans the almost 10 years of his Presidency, from 2003 to 2007.

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