Listen to the new episode of Pagecast! Charles van Onselen discusses his new release Three Wise Monkeys
More about the book!
This week on Pagecast, Eugene Ashton, CEO of Jonathan Ball Publishers, speaks to author and historian Charles van Onselen about Three Wise Monkeys.
Pagecast offers you insider interviews with recently published authors, looking into the process of writing, exploring the narratives within and providing you with the story behind the story.
In some settings, such as Ireland, the contiguity of Catholic and Protestant states is often not conducive to good relations or neighbourliness. In colonial and imperial southern Africa, formal inter-state arrangements took place at the expense of a third party – subjected African peoples.
Three Wise Monkeys explores some of the contradictions, silences and oversights, and working misunderstandings that arise when an emerging Anglophone, Protestant, industrial and urbanising state – South Africa – develops side by side with a Lusophone, Catholic, commercial, rural colony – Mozambique. In three volumes, Charles van Onselen examines the intertwined relations between South Africa and Portugal’s chronically weak east coast colony, as expressed through the migrant labour system, the tourist trade, the rise and fall of LM Radio and the extraordinary tale of the Lourenço Marques Lottery. These areas constituted zones of cross-cultural, transnational interaction that both states were reluctant to acknowledge formally, choosing instead to ‘see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil’ for much of the 20th century.
Three Wise Monkeys presents a striking new way of viewing the entangled, often hidden, economic, political and social dynamics that informed the rise of 20th-century South Africa, often at the expense of neighbouring Mozambique.
Charles van Onselen is the acclaimed author of several books, including The Fox and the Flies, The Cowboy Capitalist, The Night Trains and The Seed is Mine. In 1995, he won the Alan Paton Award for The Seed is Mine. Van Onselen has been honoured with visiting fellowships at Harvard, Yale, Cambridge and Oxford. He is currently Research Professor in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Pretoria.
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