Bram Fischer: Afrikaner Revolutionary

In 1964 Bram Fischer led the defence of Nelson Mandela in the Rivonia Trial. In 1966 Fischer was himself sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa for his political activities against the policies of apartheid.

Before his sentencing he had spent nine months underground, in disguise, evading a nationwide manhunt. He was South Africa’s most wanted man, his cause recognised and celebrated around the world.

What had brought him to these circumstances? And what led to his untimely death after nine years in prison? This meticulous and finely crafted biography follows a fascinating journey of conscience and personal transformation.

Fischer was born into one of the most prominent Afrikaner nationalist families, yet came to understand that to be a South African in the fullest sense he had to identify with all of South Africa’s people. A Rhodes Scholar and distinguished lawyer, endowed with gifts of intelligence, charisma and integrity, he abandoned the temptations of power and prestige to ensure human rights and justice for all. Drawn to communism in order to solve problems of race, he offered revised versions and visions of both. 

Covering more than one hundred years of South African history, this book ranges from the stories of Fischer and his wife, Molly, to the courtroom drama of South Africa’s great political trials, to the political intrigue of the 1960s and beyond. It is a remarkable story, remarkably told. Weaving the personal and public, Stephen Clingman’s biography is an account of tragedy and transcendence, showing how the miracle of South Africa’s transition to democracy was deeply connected to the legacy of Bram Fischer.

Bram Fischer: Afrikaner Revolutionary won the 1999 Alan Paton Award.

About the Author

Stephen Clingman is the author of The Novels of Nadine Gordimer: History from the Inside, and editor of Nadine Gordimer’s The Essential Gesture: Writing, Politics and Places. Born in South Africa, he is currently the Director of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


Parameters of Book:
Sub-title: Afrikaner Revolutionary
Author: Stephen Clingman
ISBN: 9781431407521
d-PDF ISBN: 9781431407538
ePUB ISBN: 9781431407545
mobi file ISBN:  9781431407552
Size (mm): 235x155mm
Pages: 500pp
Format: Paperback
Colour: Black & White with images
Rights: Southern African
Language: English
Publication Date: May 2013