Twenty-five years ago, South Africans engaged in a peaceful revolution. As late as the 1980s commentators predicted that any transition from white minority domination and black majority rule would precipitate a bloody civil war. Instead, in 1994 South Africans replaced president F. W. de Klerk with Nelson Mandela in a free and fair election that astonished the world. This month historian Zeb Larson evaluates what has happened in South Africa in the last quarter century and describes how difficult it has been to shake the legacy of apartheid.

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