Some thirty-five years after its original publication, but never previously available in South Africa, Year of Fire, Year of Ash still stands as one of the leading accounts of the 1976-77 Soweto Revolt, one of the most significant acts of resistance in the history of the anti-apartheid movement.
Authored by a South African activist and scholar who was intimately involved in the movement, the book provides an unparalleled insight into the origins and events of the uprising, from its antecedents in the early 1970s to its role in galvanizing the global struggle against apartheid. Crucially, the book overturned much of the conventional logic around the uprising, by showing that it was not simply a student protest, but a revolt by the wider black working class. As South Africa experiences a new wave of popular revolt, and as new forms of black consciousness come to the fore in movements around the world, Hirson's book provides a timely reminder of the continued significance of the Soweto revolt to struggles against oppression today. This South African edition includes an abridged transcription of an interview with Billy Masetha.