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It is time to get your money working for you. HOW TO OWN THE WORLD explains why you can, and must, learn about investment, and highlights the significant advantages you have over many finance professionals. This is both a personal finance book and a personal development book; by safeguarding your future wealth you are safeguarding your long-term health and happiness.Successful investment can turn hundreds into millions over time thanks to the power of compound interest, something Einstein described as "The Eighth Wonder of the World". There has never been a greater need for you to take charge of your financial affairs. Fortunately the tools available have never been more powerful or inexpensive. HOW TO OWN THE WORLD explains why this is, and what you can do to make the most of your money.

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A daring, brilliant work by one of our most original and fearless novelists.'Why should I let you write about me?''Because you'll inspire people. To count their blessings.' Aldo Benjamin, relentlessly unlucky in every aspect of life, has always faced the future with despair and optimism in equal measure. His latest misfortune, however, may finally be his undoing. There's still hope, but not for Aldo.His mate Liam hasn't been faring much better - a failed writer with a rocky marriage and a dangerous job he never wanted - until he finds inspiration in Aldo's exponential disasters. What begins as an attempt to document these improbable but inevitable experiences spirals into a profound exploration of fate, fear and friendship.Anarchically funny and wildly entertaining, Quicksand is a subversive portrait of 21st-century society in all its hypocrisy and absurdity, an exquisite interpretation of suffering and resilience, and a powerful story about taking risks and finding inspiration.

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'The best business book I've ever read.' Bill Gates, Wall Street Journal'The Michael Lewis of his day.' New York TimesWhat do the $350 million Ford Motor Company disaster known as the Edsel, the fast and incredible rise of Xerox, and the unbelievable scandals at General Electric and Texas Gulf Sulphur have in common? Each is an example of how an iconic company was defined by a particular moment of fame or notoriety. These notable and fascinating accounts are as relevant today to understanding the intricacies of corporate life as they were when the events happened.Stories about Wall Street are infused with drama and adventure and reveal the machinations and volatile nature of the world of finance. John Brooks's insightful reportage is so full of personality and critical detail that whether he is looking at the astounding market crash of 1962, the collapse of a well-known brokerage firm, or the bold attempt by American bankers to save the British pound, one gets the sense that history really does repeat itself.This business classic written by longtime New Yorker contributor John Brooks is an insightful and engaging look into corporate and financial life in America.

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LEARN HOW TO WRITE, FORMAT AND RELEASE YOUR OWN BOOK VIA THE INCREASINGLY SUCCESSFUL METHOD OF SELF PUBLISHING.If you've ever wanted to publish your own book, either in print or online as an ebook, this book is the indispensable guide you need. It covers absolutely every aspect of self publishing, from the different platforms and formats such as Amazon kindle or Apple ibooks, to the practicalities of ebook technology. It takes a creative look at the self-publishing process, encouraging you to think out of the box, as well as giving you inspiration and advice for the writing process. You will recieve practical advice on manuscript preparation, editing, cover design and other production issues, along with successful strategies for marketing, distributing and selling your book - and writing another.Anybody can upload a file, but it takes skill to really publish a book. With 'Try it now' exercises, key facts and case studies, this book is all you need to publish your book beautifully and prominantly.ABOUT THE SERIESThe Teach Yourself Creative Writing series helps aspiring authors tell their story. Covering a range of genres from science fiction and romantic novels, to illustrated children's books and comedy, this series is packed with advice, exercises and tips for unlocking creativity and improving your writing. And because we know how daunting the blank page can be, we set up the Just Write online community at tyjustwrite, for budding authors and successful writers to connect and share.

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The home of notable books

Welcome to Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Welcome to Nicholas Brealey Publishing, the home of notable books. Nicholas Brealey Publishing was eponymously founded way back in 1992 to publish a select list of enduring and forward thinking books focusing on big ideas and practical wisdom - alongside original voices in narrative non-fiction, notably in Travel and Adventure writing. This eclectic, curated approach to vigorously publishing only what’s new, special and well worth reading proved successful across the world and is very much our continued focus. As well as continuing to publish distinctive and exciting titles, we boast perennial bestsellers that are mainstays of their genre. The company has an award-winning list of books on coaching and leadership, personal development and popular psychology, smart thinking and the ‘big ideas’ in business and economics. We are home to some notable books, including the topical The Trouble with Europe, the bestselling The 80/20 Principle trilogy by Richard Koch, and the 50 Classics Series by Tom Butler-Bowdon on ‘the literature of possibility’. Our authors are some of the leading voices in their fields, including award-winning economist Roger Bootle, organizational development experts Peter Senge and Arie de Geus, and in psychology such internationally renowned renowned authors as Richard Nisbett, Gary Klein and Martin Seligman. With offices in London and Boston, our list has expanded and developed over more than two decades of international publishing. From our roots as a publisher of global business books including Richard Lewis’ When Cultures Collide and Fons Trompenaars’ Riding the Waves of Culture, we went on to acquire Intercultural Press in the US and an outstanding list of cross-cultural titles. We publish the world’s bestselling list of Coaching books, starting with Sir John Whitmore’s Coaching for Performance which has sold a million copies worldwide over its four editions, and then the leading US guide Co-Active Coaching with the acquisition of Davies-Black some years later, also expanding our list of books on leadership, human resources, career development and personality type (including the classic Gifts Differing.) We are proud to publish a world-class list of travel writing titles, including FT Book of the Year Swiss Watching, 2015 Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year finalist Walking the Woods and the Water, and the ever-popular Around India in 80 Trains. Swiss Watching and the recent Why the Dutch are Different are two of a growing number of titles on our list that paint a contemporary portrait of a people, its country and its culture. Now in its 24th year, Nicholas Brealey Publishing joined Hachette UK in June 2015 as part of John Murray Press. With The Gilded Chalet forthcoming this winter and looking forward to Spring 2016 highlights The Greats on Leadership and Dare to Do, Sarah Outen’s riveting account of her 30,000 mile, five-year loop of the planet by pedal and paddle, we are confident that this next chapter will be one of the most successful yet.

Find out about Nicholas Brealey Publishing

About us

Welcome to Nicholas Brealey Publishing, the home of notable books. Nicholas Brealey Publishing was eponymously founded way back in 1992 to publish a select list of enduring and forward thinking books focusing on big ideas and practical wisdom - alongside original voices in narrative non-fiction, notably in Travel and Adventure writing. This eclectic, curated approach to vigorously publishing only what’s new, special and well worth reading proved successful across the world and is very much our continued focus. As well as continuing to publish distinctive and exciting titles, we boast perennial bestsellers that are mainstays of their genre. The company has an award-winning list of books on coaching and leadership, personal development and popular psychology, smart thinking and the ‘big ideas’ in business and economics. We are home to some notable books, including the topical The Trouble with Europe, the bestselling The 80/20 Principle trilogy by Richard Koch, and the 50 Classics Series by Tom Butler-Bowdon on ‘the literature of possibility’. Our authors are some of the leading voices in their fields, including award-winning economist Roger Bootle, organizational development experts Peter Senge and Arie de Geus, and in psychology such internationally renowned renowned authors as Richard Nisbett, Gary Klein and Martin Seligman. With offices in London and Boston, our list has expanded and developed over more than two decades of international publishing. From our roots as a publisher of global business books including Richard Lewis’ When Cultures Collide and Fons Trompenaars’ Riding the Waves of Culture, we went on to acquire Intercultural Press in the US and an outstanding list of cross-cultural titles. We publish the world’s bestselling list of Coaching books, starting with Sir John Whitmore’s Coaching for Performance which has sold a million copies worldwide over its four editions, and then the leading US guide Co-Active Coaching with the acquisition of Davies-Black some years later, also expanding our list of books on leadership, human resources, career development and personality type (including the classic Gifts Differing.) We are proud to publish a world-class list of travel writing titles, including FT Book of the Year Swiss Watching, 2015 Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year finalist Walking the Woods and the Water, and the ever-popular Around India in 80 Trains. Swiss Watching and the recent Why the Dutch are Different are two of a growing number of titles on our list that paint a contemporary portrait of a people, its country and its culture. Now in its 24th year, Nicholas Brealey Publishing joined Hachette UK in June 2015 as part of John Murray Press. With The Gilded Chalet forthcoming this winter and looking forward to Spring 2016 highlights The Greats on Leadership and Dare to Do, Sarah Outen’s riveting account of her 30,000 mile, five-year loop of the planet by pedal and paddle, we are confident that this next chapter will be one of the most successful yet.

The home of notable books

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Welcome to Nicholas Brealey Publishing, the home of notable books. Nicholas Brealey Publishing was eponymously founded way back in 1992 to publish a select list of enduring and forward thinking books focusing on big ideas and practical wisdom - alongside original voices in narrative non-fiction, notably in Travel and Adventure writing. This eclectic, curated approach to vigorously publishing only what’s new, special and well worth reading proved successful across the world and is very much our continued focus. As well as continuing to publish distinctive and exciting titles, we boast perennial bestsellers that are mainstays of their genre. The company has an award-winning list of books on coaching and leadership, personal development and popular psychology, smart thinking and the ‘big ideas’ in business and economics. We are home to some notable books, including the topical The Trouble with Europe, the bestselling The 80/20 Principle trilogy by Richard Koch, and the 50 Classics Series by Tom Butler-Bowdon on ‘the literature of possibility’. Our authors are some of the leading voices in their fields, including award-winning economist Roger Bootle, organizational development experts Peter Senge and Arie de Geus, and in psychology such internationally renowned renowned authors as Richard Nisbett, Gary Klein and Martin Seligman. With offices in London and Boston, our list has expanded and developed over more than two decades of international publishing. From our roots as a publisher of global business books including Richard Lewis’ When Cultures Collide and Fons Trompenaars’ Riding the Waves of Culture, we went on to acquire Intercultural Press in the US and an outstanding list of cross-cultural titles. We publish the world’s bestselling list of Coaching books, starting with Sir John Whitmore’s Coaching for Performance which has sold a million copies worldwide over its four editions, and then the leading US guide Co-Active Coaching with the acquisition of Davies-Black some years later, also expanding our list of books on leadership, human resources, career development and personality type (including the classic Gifts Differing.) We are proud to publish a world-class list of travel writing titles, including FT Book of the Year Swiss Watching, 2015 Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year finalist Walking the Woods and the Water, and the ever-popular Around India in 80 Trains. Swiss Watching and the recent Why the Dutch are Different are two of a growing number of titles on our list that paint a contemporary portrait of a people, its country and its culture. Now in its 24th year, Nicholas Brealey Publishing joined Hachette UK in June 2015 as part of John Murray Press. With The Gilded Chalet forthcoming this winter and looking forward to Spring 2016 highlights The Greats on Leadership and Dare to Do, Sarah Outen’s riveting account of her 30,000 mile, five-year loop of the planet by pedal and paddle, we are confident that this next chapter will be one of the most successful yet.

The home of notable books

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Welcome to Nicholas Brealey Publishing, the home of notable books. Nicholas Brealey Publishing was eponymously founded way back in 1992 to publish a select list of enduring and forward thinking books focusing on big ideas and practical wisdom - alongside original voices in narrative non-fiction, notably in Travel and Adventure writing. This eclectic, curated approach to vigorously publishing only what’s new, special and well worth reading proved successful across the world and is very much our continued focus. As well as continuing to publish distinctive and exciting titles, we boast perennial bestsellers that are mainstays of their genre. The company has an award-winning list of books on coaching and leadership, personal development and popular psychology, smart thinking and the ‘big ideas’ in business and economics. We are home to some notable books, including the topical The Trouble with Europe, the bestselling The 80/20 Principle trilogy by Richard Koch, and the 50 Classics Series by Tom Butler-Bowdon on ‘the literature of possibility’. Our authors are some of the leading voices in their fields, including award-winning economist Roger Bootle, organizational development experts Peter Senge and Arie de Geus, and in psychology such internationally renowned renowned authors as Richard Nisbett, Gary Klein and Martin Seligman. With offices in London and Boston, our list has expanded and developed over more than two decades of international publishing. From our roots as a publisher of global business books including Richard Lewis’ When Cultures Collide and Fons Trompenaars’ Riding the Waves of Culture, we went on to acquire Intercultural Press in the US and an outstanding list of cross-cultural titles. We publish the world’s bestselling list of Coaching books, starting with Sir John Whitmore’s Coaching for Performance which has sold a million copies worldwide over its four editions, and then the leading US guide Co-Active Coaching with the acquisition of Davies-Black some years later, also expanding our list of books on leadership, human resources, career development and personality type (including the classic Gifts Differing.) We are proud to publish a world-class list of travel writing titles, including FT Book of the Year Swiss Watching, 2015 Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year finalist Walking the Woods and the Water, and the ever-popular Around India in 80 Trains. Swiss Watching and the recent Why the Dutch are Different are two of a growing number of titles on our list that paint a contemporary portrait of a people, its country and its culture. Now in its 24th year, Nicholas Brealey Publishing joined Hachette UK in June 2015 as part of John Murray Press. With The Gilded Chalet forthcoming this winter and looking forward to Spring 2016 highlights The Greats on Leadership and Dare to Do, Sarah Outen’s riveting account of her 30,000 mile, five-year loop of the planet by pedal and paddle, we are confident that this next chapter will be one of the most successful yet.

About us

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Welcome to Nicholas Brealey Publishing, the home of notable books. Nicholas Brealey Publishing was eponymously founded way back in 1992 to publish a select list of enduring and forward thinking books focusing on big ideas and practical wisdom - alongside original voices in narrative non-fiction, notably in Travel and Adventure writing. This eclectic, curated approach to vigorously publishing only what’s new, special and well worth reading proved successful across the world and is very much our continued focus. As well as continuing to publish distinctive and exciting titles, we boast perennial bestsellers that are mainstays of their genre. The company has an award-winning list of books on coaching and leadership, personal development and popular psychology, smart thinking and the ‘big ideas’ in business and economics. We are home to some notable books, including the topical The Trouble with Europe, the bestselling The 80/20 Principle trilogy by Richard Koch, and the 50 Classics Series by Tom Butler-Bowdon on ‘the literature of possibility’. Our authors are some of the leading voices in their fields, including award-winning economist Roger Bootle, organizational development experts Peter Senge and Arie de Geus, and in psychology such internationally renowned renowned authors as Richard Nisbett, Gary Klein and Martin Seligman. With offices in London and Boston, our list has expanded and developed over more than two decades of international publishing. From our roots as a publisher of global business books including Richard Lewis’ When Cultures Collide and Fons Trompenaars’ Riding the Waves of Culture, we went on to acquire Intercultural Press in the US and an outstanding list of cross-cultural titles. We publish the world’s bestselling list of Coaching books, starting with Sir John Whitmore’s Coaching for Performance which has sold a million copies worldwide over its four editions, and then the leading US guide Co-Active Coaching with the acquisition of Davies-Black some years later, also expanding our list of books on leadership, human resources, career development and personality type (including the classic Gifts Differing.) We are proud to publish a world-class list of travel writing titles, including FT Book of the Year Swiss Watching, 2015 Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year finalist Walking the Woods and the Water, and the ever-popular Around India in 80 Trains. Swiss Watching and the recent Why the Dutch are Different are two of a growing number of titles on our list that paint a contemporary portrait of a people, its country and its culture. Now in its 24th year, Nicholas Brealey Publishing joined Hachette UK in June 2015 as part of John Murray Press. With The Gilded Chalet forthcoming this winter and looking forward to Spring 2016 highlights The Greats on Leadership and Dare to Do, Sarah Outen’s riveting account of her 30,000 mile, five-year loop of the planet by pedal and paddle, we are confident that this next chapter will be one of the most successful yet.

About us

The home of notable books

Welcome to Nicholas Brealey Publishing, the home of notable books. Nicholas Brealey Publishing was eponymously founded way back in 1992 to publish a select list of enduring and forward thinking books focusing on big ideas and practical wisdom - alongside original voices in narrative non-fiction, notably in Travel and Adventure writing. This eclectic, curated approach to vigorously publishing only what’s new, special and well worth reading proved successful across the world and is very much our continued focus. As well as continuing to publish distinctive and exciting titles, we boast perennial bestsellers that are mainstays of their genre. The company has an award-winning list of books on coaching and leadership, personal development and popular psychology, smart thinking and the ‘big ideas’ in business and economics. We are home to some notable books, including the topical The Trouble with Europe, the bestselling The 80/20 Principle trilogy by Richard Koch, and the 50 Classics Series by Tom Butler-Bowdon on ‘the literature of possibility’. Our authors are some of the leading voices in their fields, including award-winning economist Roger Bootle, organizational development experts Peter Senge and Arie de Geus, and in psychology such internationally renowned renowned authors as Richard Nisbett, Gary Klein and Martin Seligman. With offices in London and Boston, our list has expanded and developed over more than two decades of international publishing. From our roots as a publisher of global business books including Richard Lewis’ When Cultures Collide and Fons Trompenaars’ Riding the Waves of Culture, we went on to acquire Intercultural Press in the US and an outstanding list of cross-cultural titles. We publish the world’s bestselling list of Coaching books, starting with Sir John Whitmore’s Coaching for Performance which has sold a million copies worldwide over its four editions, and then the leading US guide Co-Active Coaching with the acquisition of Davies-Black some years later, also expanding our list of books on leadership, human resources, career development and personality type (including the classic Gifts Differing.) We are proud to publish a world-class list of travel writing titles, including FT Book of the Year Swiss Watching, 2015 Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year finalist Walking the Woods and the Water, and the ever-popular Around India in 80 Trains. Swiss Watching and the recent Why the Dutch are Different are two of a growing number of titles on our list that paint a contemporary portrait of a people, its country and its culture. Now in its 24th year, Nicholas Brealey Publishing joined Hachette UK in June 2015 as part of John Murray Press. With The Gilded Chalet forthcoming this winter and looking forward to Spring 2016 highlights The Greats on Leadership and Dare to Do, Sarah Outen’s riveting account of her 30,000 mile, five-year loop of the planet by pedal and paddle, we are confident that this next chapter will be one of the most successful yet.

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Read the first chapter of Amor Towles' RULES OF CIVILITY.

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My South Africa

Deon Meyer on the new South Africa

If books are windows on the world,1 crime fiction mostly provides a view of the underbelly and back alleys of cities and countries. This is my only genuine regret writing as an author in this genre. Because the real South Africa, the one that I love so passionately, is very different from the narrow and dim view my books probably allow. It is also quite unlike the one you see in those pessimistic fifteen second television news reports in the UK, Europe or Australia. So let me try and set the record straight. My country is breathtakingly beautiful – from the lush, sub-tropical east coast of Kwazulu-Natal, to the serene semi-desert stretching along the Atlantic in the west (which blooms in inde- scribable colour and splendour in Spring). In between, there’s the magnificence of the Lowveld, the Bushveld, the Highveld, the towering Drakensberg mountains, the aching vastness of the Karoo and the dense silence of the Knysna forests . . . Diversity is everywhere. In the climate (mostly perfect sunshine and balmy weather, but we have extremes too, summer highs of more than 50°C in Upington, and winter lows of -15°C in Sutherland – both in the same Northern Cape province), and in the cities (Durban is an intoxicating fusion of Zulu, Indian and British colonial cultures, Cape Town is a heady mix of Malay, Dutch-Afrikaans and Xhosa, Johannesburg is . . . well, modern African-cosmopolitan, utterly unique, and always exciting). The biodiversity of South Africa is truly astonishing. “With a land surface area of 1.2 million square kilometres representing just 1% of the earth’s total land surface, South Africa boasts six biospheres, and contains almost 10% of the world’s total known bird, fish and plant species, and over 6% of the world’s mammal and reptile species.”2 Of course we are also world-famous for our huge collection of wildlife regions and game parks – both public and private – encompassing every possible landscape from deserts to forests, mountains to coast, teeming with wildlife species, including Africa’s Big Five: Leopard, Lion, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhinoceros.3 But most of all, the diversity is in the people who constitute the Rainbow Nation. Our black ethnic groups include the Zulu, Xhosa, Basotho, Bapedi, Venda, Tswana, Tsonga, Swazi and Ndebele.The so-called ‘coloured’ (no, it’s not a derogatory term over here) population is mainly concentrated in the Western Cape region, and come from a combination of ethnic backgrounds including Malay, White, Khoi, San, and Griqua. White South Africans are descendants of Dutch, German, French Huguenots, English and other European and Jewish settlers. And our Indian population came to South Africa as indentured labourers to work in the sugar plantations in the British colony of Natal in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The population of more than fifty million people is made up of African (40.2 million, or 79.5%),White (4.6 million, or 9.0%), Coloured (4.5 million, or 9.0%), and Indian/Asian (1.3 million, or 2.5%). And, having travelled most of the world, I can confidently say, you won’t find friendlier, more hospitable and accommodating people anywhere, irrespective of their race, culture, language or creed. We have nine provinces (Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu- Natal, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Limpopo, North West, Free State, and Western Cape) and eleven official languages: Afrikaans (13%), English (8%), isiNdebele (1.6%), isiXhosa (18%), isiZulu (24%), Sesotho sa Leboa (9%), Sesotho (8%), Setswana (8%), siSwati (3%),Tshivenda (2%), and Xitsonga (4%).4 Throw all of this together in a democracy not quite twenty years old (a tempestuous teenager, if ever there was one), and you get an effervescent, energetic, dynamic, and often a little chaotic, melting pot – of cultures, people, views, politics, opinions, and circumstance. After the tragedy and oppression of Apartheid, we are still very much coming to terms with – and are sometimes a little overwhelmed by – all the facets of the freedom-diamond. Which means that we argue incessantly, shout, point fingers, blame, accuse, denounce, complain, and criticize, mostly loudly and publicly, like all enthusiastic democrats should. But when our beloved Bafana-Bafana (the national football team), Springboks (our twice World Cup-winning rugby team) or Proteas (the cricket guys) walk onto the field, we stand united, shoulder to shoulder. And mostly, in our day-to-day-lives, we get along rather well. We increasingly study and work and live and love and socialise together, in great harmony. Of course, we have our problems. Poverty is the major one. “There is a consensus amongst most economic and political analysts that approximately 40% of South Africans are living in poverty – with the poorest 15% in a desperate struggle to survive.” However, we are making steady progress. The percentage of the South African population with access to clean drinking water has increased from 62% in 1994, to 93% in 2011. Access to electricity has increased from 34% in 1994, to 84% in 2011.5 In 2010, 13.5 million South Africans benefited from access to social grants, 8.5 million of whom were children, 3.5 million pensioners and 1.5 million people with disabilities. In 1994, only 2.5 million people had access to social grants, the majority of whom were pensioners. And since 1994, 435 houses have been built every day for the poor.6 And you might have heard about our other challenge – South Africa has a bit of a reputation when it comes to crime. I am most definitely going out on a limb here, but having studied the statistics, and looked at the (often unfair) comparisons over the past five years, I honestly believe we don’t quite deserve it. “. . . in relation to the overall risk of victimisation, South Africans are not much more likely to become victims of crime than people in other parts of the world,” Anthony Altbeker recently wrote in a carefully considered and exhaustively researched contribution to the marvellous Opinion Pieces by South African Thought Leaders.7 To put the matter into further perspective: In the two years leading up to the FIFA World Cup held in South Africa in 2010, almost every British, French and German journalist who interviewed me, asked the same question, more or less: “How big a slaughter is it going to be for fans attending the games?” Some were downright accusatory: “How dare you host this magnificent event in such a hazardous country?” A British tabloid even predicted a ‘machete race war’ waiting for visitors.8 And how many soccer fans died during the tournament? None.9 Furthermore, the attendees who were affected by crime-related incidents represented a very meagre 0.009% of the fans. That is far, far less than, for instance, the crime rate in Wales. When World Cup tourists were asked if they would consider visiting South Africa again, 96% said ‘yes’. As a matter of fact, if you are a tourist from the Northern Hemisphere visiting my beautiful country, your chances of becoming a victim of violent crime is less than 0.67%.10 (Compare this to the fact that “the 2011 British Behaviour Abroad Report published by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) noted that the death rate (including murder and natural causes) of Britons in Thailand was forty-one per 100,000 tourists and for those visiting Germany was twenty-four. Tourists from the UK are far safer visiting South Africa”11 – with just 14.6 per 100,000.12) South Africa’s murder rate dropped by 6.5% in 2010-2011, attempted murder by 12.2%, robbery with aggravating circumstances was down by 12%, and house robberies by 10%.13 Our police services are slowly but surely turning the tide. We struggle with inadequate service delivery, our politicians don’t always live up to our expectations, and our unemployment rate is too high. But our economy is robust, and easily out-performs first-world countries like Greece (no surprise there), Italy, and Spain. South African Tax Revenue has increased from R100 billion in 1994 to R640 billion in 2010. Our debt to GDP ratio is 32% (USA 100%, Japan 200%, UK 90%). (The World Bank recommends a ratio of 60%.) And we are ranked first out of 142 countries in respect of regulation of security exchanges by the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2011/12.14 According to the Open Budget Index, South Africa has the most transparent budget in the world. We are the only African country that is a member of the G20. In the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Survey of Democratic Freedom, South Africa ranks 31st out of 184 countries. And according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2010/11, South Africa has the 34th most efficient government out of the 139 countries ranked.15 The number of tourists visiting South Africa has grown from 3.9 million in 1994 to 11.3 million in 2010. South Africa is ranked among the top five countries in the world in respect of tourism growth (growing at three times the global average).16 I could go on. South Africa’s learner-to-teacher ratio improved from 1:50 in 1994 to 1:31 in 2010. According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2011/12, South Africa is ranked 13th out of 142 countries for its quality of management schools. 61% of South African primary school children and 30% of high school children receive free meals as part of the school feeding scheme.17 But none of these facts and figures, as inspiring as they are, will reveal the real reason why I am so unwaveringly optimistic about my country’s future. It is one of the major reasons for the peaceful transition miracle of 1994, it is something woven into the texture of everyday South African life, hidden from the fleeting eyes of foreign journalists on a flying visit, mostly talking only to important folks: The goodwill of ordinary people. Every day, in cities, towns, and tiny villages, small acts of kindness happen between human beings. Individuals who extend a helping hand across racial, cultural, political and linguistic divides, who extend friendship and kindness and empathy. I have been witnessing this for more than forty years, and I absolutely believe it is this goodwill that will carry us through, no matter how challenging the future may be. 1 “Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. They are engines of change, windows on the world, lighthouses erected in the sea of time.” - Barbara W. Tuchman, American popular historian and author, 1912-1989. 2 http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/envfacts/facts/biosa.htm 3 http://www.sa-venues.com/game_lodges_nationwide_south_afr.htm
 4 http://www.safrica.info/about/facts.htm (percentages rounded off)
 5 http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/fast_facts_and_quick_stats/index.html
 6 Ibid. 7 Penguin, 2011. p. 47.
 8 http://www.dailystar.co.uk/posts/view/129402/WORLD-CUP-MACHETE- THREAT/
 9 http://www.truecrimexpo.co.za/
 10 http://www.info.gov.za/issues/crime/crime_aprsept_ppt.pdf
 11 http://www.issafrica.org/iss_today.php?ID=1394
 12 Ibid.
 13 http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/crime/crime_statistics_show_drop_in_ murder_rate.html
 14 http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/fast_facts_and_quick_stats/index.html 15 Ibid.
 16 Ibid. 17 Ibid.

Tom Butler-Bowdon

50 Politics Classics

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