Bring Me My Machine Gun

The Battle for the Soul of South Africa, from Mandela to Zuma


By Alec Russell

Formats and Prices




$49.00 CAD



  1. Hardcover $39.00 $49.00 CAD
  2. ebook $17.99 $22.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around April 14, 2009. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Award-winning journalist Alec Russell was in South Africa to witness the fall of apartheid and the remarkable reconciliation of Nelson Mandela’s rule; and returned in 2007-2008 to see Mandela’s successor, Thabo Mbeki, fritter away the country’s reputation. South Africa is now perched on a precipice, as it prepares to elect Jacob Zuma as president — signaling a potential slide back to the bad old days of post-colonial African leadership, and disaster for a country that was once the beacon of the continent.

Drawing on his long relationships with all the key senior figures including Mandela, Mbeki, Desmond Tutu, and Zuma, and a host of South Africans he has known over the years — including former activists turned billionaires and reactionary Boers — Alec Russell’s Bring Me My Machine Gun is a beautifully told and expertly researched account of South Africa’s great tragedy: the tragedy of hope unfulfilled.


  • Peter Godwin, author of When a Crocodile Eats the Sun
    “A vivid portrait of post-apartheid South Africa, briskly depicting the dramas of a young nation and the telling threats to its future.”Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2009
    Financial Times world news editor Russell offers a cogent study of the political perils ensnaring South Africa since the fall of apartheid…. An important dispatch from a journalist in the trenches.”Booklist, review 4/15
    “In open, journalistic style, Russell looks in depth and detail at the stalled dream of peace and reconciliation…. This is exciting contemporary history, a must for anyone concerned with what is happening now.”Gillian Slovo, Financial Times, 4/4
    Bring Me My Machine Gun, layered with anecdote, historical background and close scrutiny of recent events, stands as an informative, nuanced, and provocative end-of-era report…. A valuable contribution to the debate about the future of the rainbow nation. Alec Russell has looked at the country with a sympathetic and knowledgeable eye and he leaves his reader with a deep understanding of the challenges to come.”

On Sale
Apr 14, 2009
Page Count
336 pages

Alec Russell

About the Author

Alec Russell is World News Editor at the Financial Times, and formerly their Johannesburg bureau chief. He previously covered the wars in the former Yugoslavia and Africa for the Daily Telegraph and was its foreign editor from 2001-2003. From 2003-2006 he was based in Washington, D.C., and covered the Bush administration. He is the author of two books and lives in London.

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