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Travel Guide 2   >   South Africa   >   History

   
 

South African History


Here are some books about the history of South Africa:


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Books about South African History


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The South Africa Reader: History, Culture, Politics (The World Readers)

Duke University Press Books
Paperback (624 pages)

The South Africa Reader: History, Culture, Politics (The World Readers)
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The South Africa Reader is an extraordinarily rich guide to the history, culture, and politics of South Africa. With more than eighty absorbing selections, the Reader provides many perspectives on the country's diverse peoples, its first two decades as a democracy, and the forces that have shaped its history and continue to pose challenges to its future, particularly violence, inequality, and racial discrimination. Among the selections are folktales passed down through the centuries, statements by seventeenth-century Dutch colonists, the songs of mine workers, a widow's testimony before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and a photo essay featuring the acclaimed work of Santu Mofokeng. Cartoons, songs, and fiction are juxtaposed with iconic documents, such as "The Freedom Charter" adopted in 1955 by the African National Congress and its allies and Nelson Mandela's "Statement from the Dock" in 1964. Cacophonous voices—those of slaves and indentured workers, African chiefs and kings, presidents and revolutionaries—invite readers into ongoing debates about South Africa's past and present and what exactly it means to be South African.
 

A History of South Africa, Fourth Edition

By Leonard Thompson

imusti
Paperback (512 pages)

A History of South Africa, Fourth Edition
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  • Yale University Press
Product Description:
A magisterial history of South Africa, from the earliest known human inhabitation of the region to the present. Lynn Berat updates this classic text with a new chapter chronicling the first presidential term of Mbeki and ending with the celebrations of the centenary of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress in January 2012.
 
“A history that is both accurate and authentic, written in a delightful literary style.”—Archbishop Desmond Tutu
 
 

A Short History of South Africa

By Gail Nattrass

Biteback Publishing
Released: 2017-11-16
Kindle Edition (304 pages)

A Short History of South Africa
 
Product Description:

South Africa is popularly perceived as the most influential nation in Africa – a gateway to an entire continent for finance, trade and politics, and a crucial mediator in its neighbours’ affairs. On the other hand, post-Apartheid dreams of progress and reform have, in part, collapsed into a morass of corruption, unemployment and criminal violence.

A Short History of South Africa is a brief, general account of the history of this most complicated and fascinating country – from the first evidence of hominid existence to the wars of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that led to the establishment of modern South Africa, the horrors of Apartheid and the optimism following its collapse, as well as the prospects and challenges for the future.

This readable and thorough account, illustrated with maps and photographs, is the culmination of a lifetime of researching and teaching the broad spectrum of South African history.

Nattrass’s passion for her subject shines through, whether she is elucidating the reader on early humans in the cradle of humankind, or describing the tumultuous twentieth-century processes that shaped the democracy that is South Africa today.

Diamonds, Gold, and War: The British, the Boers, and the Making of South Africa

By Martin Meredith

PublicAffairs
Released: 2008-09-23
Kindle Edition (593 pages)

Diamonds, Gold, and War: The British, the Boers, and the Making of South Africa
 
Product Description:
Southern Africa was once regarded as a worthless jumble of British colonies, Boer republics, and African chiefdoms, a troublesome region of little interest to the outside world. But then prospectors chanced upon the world's richest deposits of diamonds and gold, setting off a titanic struggle between the British and the Boers for control of the land. The result was the costliest, bloodiest, and most humiliating war that Britain had waged in nearly a century, and the devastation of the Boer republics. The New Yorker calls this magisterial account of those years “[an] astute history.… Meredith expertly shows how the exigencies of the diamond (and then gold) rush laid the foundation for apartheid.”

A Concise History of South Africa (Cambridge Concise Histories)

By Robert Ross

Brand: Cambridge University Press
Paperback (272 pages)

A Concise History of South Africa (Cambridge Concise Histories)
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Lays emphasis on the continuing influence of the country's African heritage whilst also chronicling the processes of colonial conquest and of economic development stemming from the industrial revolution. This is followed by an analysis of the fundamental political changes South Africa has undergone, and a background for understanding those many things which have not changed.

South African Cuisine: Recipes of Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe

By JR Stevens

Encore Publishing
Released: 2017-03-20
Kindle Edition (68 pages)

South African Cuisine: Recipes of Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe
 
Product Description:
South African Cuisine includes recipes of Mozambique, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and many regions of South Africa, like Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. The foods of these regions are highly varied and you will also find many recipes with strong influences of British and Dutch foods. This book is a fun and easy way to begin to experience the culture of this region.

Grab your copy of South African Cuisine now!

A Military History of Modern South Africa

By Ian van der Waag

Casemate
Released: 2018-04-02
Hardcover (420 pages)

A Military History of Modern South Africa
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Twentieth-century South Africa saw continuous, often rapid and fundamental socioeconomic and political change. The century started with a brief but total war. Less than ten years later Britain brought the conquered Boer republics and the Cape and Natal colonies together into the Union of South Africa.

The Union Defence Force (UDF, later SADF), was deployed during most of the major wars of the century as well as a number of internal and regional struggles: the two world wars, Korea, uprising and rebellion on the part of Afrikaner and black nationalists, and industrial unrest. The century ended as it started, with another war. This was a flash point of the Cold War, which embraced more than just the subcontinent and lasted a long, thirty years. The outcome included the final withdrawal of foreign troops from southern Africa, the withdrawal of South African forces from Angola and Namibia, and the transfer of political power away from a white elite to a broad-based democracy.

This book is the first study of the South African armed forces as an institution and of the complex roles that these forces played in the wars, rebellions, uprisings and protests of the period. It deals in the first instance with the evolution of South African defense policy, the development of the armed forces and the people who served in and commanded them. It also places the narrative within the broader national past, to produce a fascinating study of a century packed full of episode and personality in which South Africa was uniquely embroiled in three total wars.


Table of Contents

list of maps
list of figures
list of tables
abbreviations

Introduction

Chapter One: South Africa, 1899–1902: The Last Gentleman’s War?
The geopolitical landscape and the rival strategies
Boer and Briton
The Boer offensive and the battles of the frontiers
The British invasion of the republics
The change in Boer strategy
The British counterinsurgency strategy: logistics, blockhouses, mobile columns, camps
Blockhouses
Drives: mobile columns and armoured trains
Boer tactics
Morale
Political warfare
The butcher’s bill
Conclusion

Chapter Two: Integration and Union, 1902–1914
Empire, military organisation and the threat perception
Pacification of the highveld and creation of the Transvaal Volunteers
The politics of military integration: the forging of the Union Defence Force
Conclusion

Chapter Three: The First World War, 1914–1918
The politics of participation
A bad beginning: gambits and crises
Military reform and the second invasion of South West Africa
Raising and dispatch of expeditionary forces
German East Africa, 1915–1918
The Middle East: Egypt and Palestine
France: mud and trenches
Conclusion

Chapter Four: The Inter-war Years, 1919–1939
Defence policy, strategic calculations and threat perception
Demobilisation, rationalisation and reorganisation
Technology, military innovation and organisational politics
Politics: domestic and Commonwealth
Revised threat perception and policy change
Political opposition and mobilisation
Conclusion

Chapter Five: The Second World War, 1939–1945
Politics, domestic and imperial
A house divided: subversion, propaganda and secret agents
The mobilisation of the Union Defence Force
Home waters: the expansion of an air force and the creation of a navy
Production and consumption
Military operations in Africa, June 1940 to November 1942
The 1943 election and the politics of reorganisation
Military operations in Europe, April 1944 to May 1945
Human impact of a total war: prisoners, partisans, pregnancies
Conclusion

Chapter Six: Change and Continuity: The Early Cold War, 1945–1966
Defence policy, threat perceptions and counterstrategies
Deployment: Berlin and Korea
Erasmus and the SADF: force design and military capability
The revitalisation of the SADF
Conclusion

Chapter Seven: Hot War in Southern Africa, 1959–1989
The changing strategic landscape and threat perception
PW Botha, ‘total strategy’, and the shaping of defence policy
The strategic and tactical conditions of the Angolan war
Internal security and a renewed armed struggle
External security, 1978–1984: cross-border raids, envelopments
Revolt in the townships
External security, 1984–1986
Incipient revolution, 1986–1989
Endgames

Chapter Eight: The South African National Defence Force, 1994 to circa 2000
Toward a post-apartheid defence policy
The transformation of the military: integration, rationalisation and demobilisation
Negotiations
The National Peacekeeping Force (NPKF): the first integration test
The politics of integration and transformation
Integration
Demobilisation
Rationalisation
New roles for the armed forces
Conclusion: (Dis)Continuities

notes
sources
index

From Protest to Challenge, Volume 5: A Documentary History of African Politics in South Africa, 1882–1990: Nadir and Resurgence, 1964–1979

By Thomas G. Karis

Indiana University Press
Released: 1997-02-22
Hardcover (840 pages)

From Protest to Challenge, Volume 5: A Documentary History of African Politics in South Africa, 1882–1990: Nadir and Resurgence, 1964–1979
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The essays are meticulous and carefully documented accounts which maintain the standard of excellence set by the previous volumes, all of which belong in every library." ―Choice

Based on extensive documentary archives collected by these researchers, and augmented by interviews with virtually all of the significant antiapartheid activists, this volume covers a formative period in the struggle against white minority rule, 1964-1979." ―Africa Today

... a substantial achievement... a wonderful resource for future generations of scholars." ―South African Historical Journal

Karis and Gerhart’s fifth volume is an invaluable addition to their earlier documentary history of the national liberation struggle in South Africa, and includes a priceless collection of new primary historical sources. It ignites vivid flashes of memory... " ―from the Foreword by Nelson Mandela

Volume 5 of this magnificent historical record continues the indispensable study of the struggle for freedom and justice in South Africa. In addition to extensive background essays, it includes formal documents, underground and ephemeral materials, and statements written in exile or in Robben Island prison that have not previously been published.

South Africa: History in an Hour

By Anthony Holmes

HarperPress
Released: 2012-04-05
Kindle Edition (804 pages)

South Africa: History in an Hour
 
Product Description:

Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour.

With the passing of Nelson Mandela, ‘the father of the nation’, comes the end of an era, and the moment to look back on his remarkable saving, and remaking, of South Africa. After years of oppression and racial inequality, concentrated violence and apartheid, Mandela led the country to unite ‘for the freedom of us all’ as the country’s first black President.

SOUTH AFRICA: HISTORY IN AN HOUR gives a lively account of the formation of modern South Africa, from the first contact with seventeenth-century European sailors, through the colonial era, the Boer Wars, apartheid and the establishment of a tolerant democracy in the late twentieth century. Here is a clear and fascinating overview of the emergence of the ‘Rainbow Nation’.

Know your stuff: read about South African history in just one hour.

Liberation and Development: Black Consciousness Community Programs in South Africa (African History and Culture)

By Leslie Anne Hadfield

Michigan State University Press
Paperback (270 pages)

Liberation and Development: Black Consciousness Community Programs in South Africa (African History and Culture)
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Liberation and Development: Black Consciousness Community Programs in South Africa is an account of the community development programs of the Black Consciousness movement in South Africa. It covers the emergence of the movement’s ideas and practices in the context of the late 1960s and early 1970s, then analyzes how activists refined their practices, mobilized resources, and influenced people through their work. The book examines this history primarily through the Black Community Programs organization and its three major projects: the yearbook Black Review, the Zanempilo Community Health Center, and the Njwaxa leatherwork factory. As opposed to better-known studies of antipolitical, macroeconomic initiatives, this book shows that people from the so-called global South led development in innovative ways that promised to increase social and political participation. It particularly explores the power that youth, women, and churches had in leading change in a hostile political environment. With this new perspective on a major liberation movement, Hadfield not only causes us to rethink aspects of African history but also offers lessons from the past for African societies still dealing with developmental challenges similar to those faced during apartheid.


 
 
 

 
 
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