Birth of a Nation

When history delivers something that looks like a miracle (the fall of the Berlin Wall, for example, or the collapse of Soviet communism), the mind experiences a kind of electricity, the thrill of beginning, of seeing a new world. That was what it felt like last week to watch South Africa. Here was a spectacle of true transformation.

For the first time, South Africans of all races were citizens. Apartheid was gone, reduced to rubble, as if in one of those slow-motion demolitions that bring down massive, obsolete monstrosities to make way for new construction.

But if the miracle brought forth...

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