What is an intellectual? The term conjures, perhaps, images of armchairs in university studies and shelves packed with dusty tomes; of meticulous research and stringent, challenging argument. The late Jack Simons lived that life - and many more besides. He was a distinguished academic whose writings on South African history and institutions won international recognition. He was a fearless revolutionary: a man who never compromised the rigour of his research and analysis, but who used his findings in the service of the struggle against apartheid. He was a dedicated teacher: in the classroom, in his own home - and in the military camps of Umkhonto weSizwe in Angola. Jack Simons the teacher is the focus of this book. It draws together the affectionate recollections of his students and colleagues, and the manuscripts that survive from his various political education lecture series. It sets these in the context of his life, by means of a biographical sketch and the memories of family members. In material never before published, it frames his teaching in the Angolan camps with extracts from his own diary of the time.
Already advanced in years, Simons stoically battled malaria and Spartan food, escaping apartheid air raids by a whisker, as he recorded detailed, acerbic - and sometimes extraordinarily prescient - comments on colleagues, countries and political concepts. This is not the extensive biography Simons' life still demands. But it provides a wealth of insights - intellectual and human - into the character of a heroic educator and a truly remarkable man. Comrade Jack sketches the life of the late Jack Simons, an independent-minded Marxist scholar, activist, revolutionary, teacher and hero of the South African struggle. It details his dynamic political lectures in the camps of Umkhonto weSizwe in Angola and Tanzania. Through his diaries he reveals the experiences of the people in these camps where he taught, many of whom are in government today.
Marion Sparg was a journalist and political activist who is now the CEO of the National Prosecuting Authority's multidisciplinary agency, the Directorate of Special Operations, commonly known as the Scorpions. Jenny Schreiner is a former member of Western Cape parliament who has worked on various projects for the Labour Research Commission, the Centre for Development Studies at the University of the Western Cape, and the UWC Historical and Cultural Centre. Gwen Ansell is a freelance journalist and lecturer in media skills. She is the author of "Introduction to Journalism "and "South African Jazz: Soweto Blues."
The making of a revolutionary teacher; 'They have to bloody well think' Jack Simons the teacher; 'Make the people our forests and caves' reflections, documents and debates on political education; racism and revolution; the lectures 1969-1976; 'The University of the South'; MK camp life and political instruction 1978/1979; extracts from Jack Simons' diary; lectures on Marxism-Leninism; novo Catengue 1977-1979; interview with Jack Simon; Jack Simons' Curriculum Vitae.