Non-Fiction Books:

The poverty of ideas

South African democracy and the retreat of the intellectuals



Customer rating

Click to share your rating 0 ratings (0.0/5.0 average) Thanks for your vote!

Share this product

The poverty of ideas
Sorry, this product is not currently available to order


In a country where it has been suggested that the distinction requirements at schools be moved down from 80% to 70%, it is of grave importance that we evaluate the role of knowledge and what significance we attach to it. Do we respect and value the production of knowledge, or is contemporary South African society being 'dumbed down'? And if knowledge is no longer an essential commodity, do we have a need for a 'thinking class'; the intellectuals? Where are our great South African minds? Are they hiding in fear of our society's seeming intolerance of criticism and dissent? Eminent thinkers Leslie Dikeni and William Gumede examine how South African intellectuals have regressed from drivers of change in the Apartheid era to disenchanted ghosts that appear to fear critical engagement in The Poverty of Ideas. This title offers differing but critical evaluations of the responsibility of the progressive intellectual in a new democracy. During the struggle against apartheid intellectuals have spoken out and more often then not influenced the trajectory of events. But it appears that today's intellectuals are paralysed by fear of raising the ire of authority...

Author Biography

William M. Gumede is Senior Associate and Programme Director, Africa Asia Centre, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; and Honorary Associate Professor, Graduate School of Public and Development Management, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He was Deputy Editor of the Sowetan, South Africa's largest national daily newspaper. He is author of the bestselling book Thabo Mbeki and the Battle for the Soul of the ANC (2005). Leslie M. Dikeni is Research Associate at the Department of International Politics, University of Pretoria. He was executive director, Africa Secretariat, UN Human Rights Commission. He has been a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Policy Studies. His research interests include globalisation and the social construction of knowledge.
Release date Australia
October 20th, 2009
Edited by Leslie Dikeni Edited by William Gumede
Country of Publication
South Africa
Jacana Media
Product ID

Customer reviews

Nobody has reviewed this product yet. You could be the first!

Write a Review

Marketplace listings

There are no Marketplace listings available for this product currently.
Already own it? Create a free listing and pay just 9% commission when it sells!

Sell Yours Here

Help & options

  • If you think we've made a mistake or omitted details, please send us your feedback. Send Feedback
  • If you have a question or problem with this product, visit our Help section. Get Help
Filed under...