Radical Middle (ePub) | Biography
In a time when South Africa nearly went up in flames, Denis Beckett wasn’t always very popular as fulltime editor of anti-apartheid magazine Frontline and part-time political activist.
Radical Middle tells the story of the starry-eyed young Joburg journalist who turned into a determined editor who would do anything to keep his magazine afloat in the turbulent eighties. Beckett’s humorous and often self-deprecating sketches of his altercations with media bosses, black activists, narrow-minded Nationalist politicians and ordinary South Africans goes beyond a mere personal account. It also documents an era and serves as a powerful reminder ‘lest we forget’. Laugh at the suburban angst and gasp at the petty politics of a time when demanding ‘one man, one vote’ was seen as the height of radicalism.
In his role as activist Beckett endlessly lobbied businessmen and political leaders such as Harry Oppenheimer, Jim Bailey, Archbishop Tutu, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, and NP politicians Stoffel van der Merwe and Wynand Malan. Filled to the brim with anecdotes, his memoirs also offer a personal glimpse on these and other well-known South Africans.
Watch Trevor Manuel chat to Denis at the launch of Radical Middle in Cape Town: 1 | 2 | 3