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Travel Guide 2   >   South Africa   >   History

   
 

South African History


Here are some books about the history of South Africa:


Comments about South African History


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Books about South African History


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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
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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
 
 

South Africa and the British Empire: The History and Legacy of the Region Under Great Britain’s Control

By Charles River Editors

Charles River Editors
Released: 2019-03-22
Kindle Edition (128 pages)

South Africa and the British Empire: The History and Legacy of the Region Under Great Britain’s Control
 
Product Description:
*Includes pictures
*Includes contemporary accounts
*includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading
*Includes a table of contents

“The Boers were hostile toward indigenous African peoples, with whom they fought frequent range wars, and toward the government of the Cape, which was attempting to control Boer movements and commerce. They overtly compared their way of life to that of the Israel patriarchs of the Bible, developing independent patriarchal communities based upon a mobile pastoralist economy. Staunch Calvinists, they saw themselves as the children of God in the wilderness, a Christian elect divinely ordained to rule the land and the backward natives therein. By the end of the 18th century the cultural links between the Boers and their urban counterparts were diminishing, although both groups continued to speak a type of Flemish.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica

The Boer War was the defining conflict of South African history and one of the most important conflicts in the history of the British Empire. Naturally, complicated geopolitics underscored it, going back centuries. In fact, the European history of South Africa began with the 1652 arrival of a small Dutch flotilla in Table Bay, at the southern extremity of the African continent, which made landfall with a view to establishing a victualing station to service passing Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) ships. The Dutch at that point largely dominated the East Indian Trade, and it was their establishment of the settlement of Kaapstad, or Cape Town, that set in motion the lengthy and often turbulent history of South Africa.

For over a century, the Cape remained a Dutch East India Company settlement, and in the interests of limiting expenses, strict parameters were established to avoid the development of a colony. As religious intolerance in Europe drove a steady trickle of outward emigration, however, Dutch settlers began to informally expand beyond the Cape, settling the sparsely inhabited hinterland to the north and east of Cape Town. In doing so, they fell increasingly outside the administrative scope of the Company, and they developed an individualistic worldview, characterized by self-dependence and self-reliance. They were also bonded as a society by a rigorous and literal interpretation of the Old Testament. In their wake, towards the end of the 17th century, followed a wave of French Huguenot immigrants, fleeing a renewal of anti-Protestantism in Europe. They were integrated over the succeeding generations, creating a hybridized language and culture that emerged in due course as the Cape Dutch, The Afrikaner or the Boer.

The Napoleonic Wars radically altered the old, established European power dynamics, and in 1795, the British, now emerging as the globe’s naval superpower, assumed control of the Cape as part of the spoils of war. In doing so, they recognized the enormous strategic value of the Cape as global shipping routes were developing and expanding. Possession passed back and forth once or twice, but more or less from that point onwards, the British established their presence at the Cape, which they held until the unification of South Africa in 1910. However, it would only come after several rounds of conflicts, and South Africa would remain a dominion through history’s deadliest wars in the first half of the 20th century.

South Africa and the British Empire: The History of the Region as a Colony and Dominion looks at the controversial British colonization, fighting, and results. Along with pictures and a bibliography, you will learn about the British control of South Africa like never before.

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 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

South Africa - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

By Isabella Morris

Kuperard
Released: 2018-02-01
Paperback (168 pages)

South Africa - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
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South Africa has been described as “A World in One Country” and a “Rainbow Nation.” Its landscape ranges from miles of glorious beaches to the inland desert of the Karoo, the sweeping grasslands of the Highveld plateau, and the subtropical bush of the Lowveld. Its ethnic makeup is equally varied. There are eleven official languages, nine major black African tribes, two major white tribes, as well as a representation of all the world’s major religions. It has a free market economy while communists share in government; one of the world’s most liberal constitutions and a deeply patriarchal society; and very rich and very poor people coexisting. South Africa has come through fire, and although there is still considerable heat, it is doing pretty well. This insiders’ guide will introduce you to the universal warmth and cultural diversity of its people, explain the backdrop of their troubled past, and familiarize you with their everyday life so that you’ll feel comfortable whether you’re invited to a shack in the townships, a mansion in the suburbs, or a braai on the beach. You’ll learn how to stay safe in potentially dangerous areas, and you’ll know where to go if you want to feel like the only person on the planet.

South Africa: The History and Legacy of the Nation From European Colonization to the End of the Apartheid Era

By Charles River Editors

Charles River Editors
Audible Audiobook

South Africa: The History and Legacy of the Nation From European Colonization to the End of the Apartheid Era
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The Boer War was the defining conflict of South African history and one of the most important conflicts in the history of the British Empire. Naturally, complicated geopolitics underscored it, going back centuries. In fact, the European history of South Africa began with the 1652 arrival of a small Dutch flotilla in Table Bay, at the southern extremity of the African continent, which made landfall with a view to establishing a victualing station to service passing Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) ships. The Dutch at that point largely dominated the East Indian Trade, and it was their establishment of the settlement of Kaapstad, or Cape Town, that set in motion the lengthy and often turbulent history of South Africa.

For over a century, the Cape remained a Dutch East India Company settlement, and in the interests of limiting expenses, strict parameters were established to avoid the development of a colony. As religious intolerance in Europe drove a steady trickle of outward emigration, however, Dutch settlers began to informally expand beyond the Cape, settling the sparsely inhabited hinterland to the north and east of Cape Town. In doing so, they fell increasingly outside the administrative scope of the Company, and they developed an individualistic worldview, characterized by self-dependence and self-reliance. They were also bonded as a society by a rigorous and literal interpretation of the Old Testament. In their wake, towards the end of the 17th century, followed a wave of French Huguenot immigrants, fleeing a renewal of anti-Protestantism in Europe. They were integrated over the succeeding generations, creating a hybridized language and culture that emerged in due course as the Cape Dutch, the Afrikaner or the Boer.

South Africa: The History and Legacy of the Nation from European Colonization to the End of the Apartheid Era looks at the controversial history of the country, from the initial European explorers to the successful struggle to dismantle apartheid.

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.

Living in . . . South Africa

By Chloe Perkins

Simon Spotlight
Released: 2016-10-04
Paperback (32 pages)

Living in . . . South Africa
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  • Simon Spotlight
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Discover what it’s like to grow up in South Africa with this fascinating, nonfiction Level 2 Ready-to-Read, part of a series all about kids just like you in countries around the world!

Dumela! My name is David, and I’m a kid just like you living in South Africa. South Africa is a country filled with stunning cities, amazing animals, and many different cultures—that’s why they call South Africa the rainbow nation! Have you ever wondered what South Africa is like? Come along with me to find out!

Each book in our Living in… series is narrated by a kid growing up in their home country and is filled with fresh, modern illustrations as well as loads of history, geography, and cultural goodies that fit perfectly into Common Core standards. Join kids from all over the world on a globe-trotting adventure with the Living in… series—sure to be a hit with children, parents, educators, and librarians alike!

The Colonization of South Africa: The History and Legacy of the European Subjugation of South Africa

By Charles River Editors

Charles River Editors
Released: 2019-03-15
Kindle Edition (111 pages)

The Colonization of South Africa: The History and Legacy of the European Subjugation of South Africa
 
Product Description:
*Includes pictures
*Includes contemporary accounts
*Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading
*Includes a table of contents

“The Boers were hostile toward indigenous African peoples, with whom they fought frequent range wars, and toward the government of the Cape, which was attempting to control Boer movements and commerce. They overtly compared their way of life to that of the Israel patriarchs of the Bible, developing independent patriarchal communities based upon a mobile pastoralist economy. Staunch Calvinists, they saw themselves as the children of God in the wilderness, a Christian elect divinely ordained to rule the land and the backward natives therein. By the end of the 18th century the cultural links between the Boers and their urban counterparts were diminishing, although both groups continued to speak a type of Flemish.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica

The Boer War was the defining conflict of South African history and one of the most important conflicts in the history of the British Empire. Naturally, complicated geopolitics underscored it, going back centuries. In fact, the European history of South Africa began with the 1652 arrival of a small Dutch flotilla in Table Bay, at the southern extremity of the African continent, which made landfall with a view to establishing a victualing station to service passing Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) ships. The Dutch at that point largely dominated the East Indian Trade, and it was their establishment of the settlement of Kaapstad, or Cape Town, that set in motion the lengthy and often turbulent history of South Africa.

For over a century, the Cape remained a Dutch East India Company settlement, and in the interests of limiting expenses, strict parameters were established to avoid the development of a colony. As religious intolerance in Europe drove a steady trickle of outward emigration, however, Dutch settlers began to informally expand beyond the Cape, settling the sparsely inhabited hinterland to the north and east of Cape Town. In doing so, they fell increasingly outside the administrative scope of the Company, and they developed an individualistic worldview, characterized by self-dependence and self-reliance. They were also bonded as a society by a rigorous and literal interpretation of the Old Testament. In their wake, towards the end of the 17th century, followed a wave of French Huguenot immigrants, fleeing a renewal of anti-Protestantism in Europe. They were integrated over the succeeding generations, creating a hybridized language and culture that emerged in due course as the Cape Dutch, The Afrikaner or the Boer.

The Napoleonic Wars radically altered the old, established European power dynamics, and in 1795, the British, now emerging as the globe’s naval superpower, assumed control of the Cape as part of the spoils of war. In doing so, they recognized the enormous strategic value of the Cape as global shipping routes were developing and expanding. Possession passed back and forth once or twice, but more or less from that point onwards, the British established their presence at the Cape, which they held until the unification of South Africa in 1910. However, it would only come after several rounds of conflicts.

The Colonization of South Africa: The History and Legacy of the European Subjugation of South Africa looks at the controversial expeditions, fighting, and results. Along with pictures and a bibliography, you will learn about the colonization of South Africa like never before.

A Short History of South Africa

By Gail Nattrass

Biteback Publishing
Released: 2018-07-03
Paperback (304 pages)

A Short History of South Africa
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A brief, general account of the history of South Africa that uncovers 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.


 
 
 

 
 
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