Born a Crime has one of the hallmarks of a great memoir - it would be an interesting read even if the person who wrote it wasn’t famous. If the guy in the book had moved to America and simply secured a nice desk job, went home on the weekends, and self-published this little passion project for fun, it would be a good read.
As a North American, 1980s South Africa was a fascinating, mysterious place. The evening news taught me the word “Apartheid” at a young age*. Nelson Mandela was a hero. For a relatively small dot on the map, South Africa occupied a huge place in the global political imagination.
Noah’s book was really the first non-fiction I’ve read about living in that era. And it’s fascinating.
* I did think the word was “Apart-Tide”, as in “A tide of people kept apart” because I didn't understand it wasn't English. I also thought that Central America had a “gorilla” crisis.