Magisterial in its expanse and eloquent in its telling, Ebrahim Harvey’s superb account of a man characterised by his reticence provides a rare and thorough insight into this most private and yet among the most powerful of men in South Africa. We learn about his ancestral family and his political awakenings as he discovers the ANC. From here we come to understand the importance of his time on Robben Island, and the friendships and alliances which would follow his political career. In 1997 he succeeded Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC Secretary General and the mark of this reserved but often courageously independent politician was beginning to be noticed. Just over 10 years later, Motlanthe had risen to become the third President of the Republic of South Africa, though under exceptional circumstances. It was Gwede Mantashe who said that it was a measure of the man that he could allow a strong critic of the ANC to write his biography. With impeccable timing and a real sense of history this book for the first time allows the public to get to know and understand Motlanthe. This biography contains wide ranging interviews with Kgalema, his family, his friends and comrades at Cosatu, the NUM, the SACP, the ANC and government. It also includes interviews with leading figures in other political organisations, civil society, academia and the media. Unsparing in its scope, detailed in its revelations and with a rigorously critical analysis this book will reveal not only the complex politician but also the very human nature of the man.