117 Days
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117 Days : An Account of Confinement and Interrogation Under the South African 90-day Detention Law

By (author) Ruth First , Introduction by Gillian Slovo

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In prison you see only the moves of the enemy. Prison is the hardest place to fight a battle.' 117 Days is Ruth First's personal account of her detention under the iniquitous '90-day' law of 1963. There was no warrant, no charge and no trial - only suspicion. This sparsely written and unique record tells of her experiences of solitary confinement, constant interrogation and instantaneous re-arrest on release - lightened by humorous portraits of governors, matrons, wardresses and interrogators, seen as the tools of the police state.

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  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 124.46 x 195.58 x 17.78mm | 158.76g
  • 02 Dec 2010
  • Little, Brown Book Group
  • Virago Press Ltd
  • London
  • English
  • 1844086305
  • 9781844086306
  • 289,464

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Author Information

Ruth First was a journalist and academic and, along with her husband Joe Slovo, strongly active in the anti-apartheid movement. She escaped South Africa in 1964. In 1982 she was working at a university in Mozambique. On the 17th August she opened a letter bomb addressed to her by the South African security police.

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Review quote

"[Ruth First's] life, and her death, remains a beacon to all who love liberty." - Nelson Mandela, at the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of Ruth First's murder

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