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

By Martin Meredith

Brand: PublicAffairs
Released: 2008-09-23
Paperback (592 pages)

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

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.

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
Released: 2014-04-29
Paperback (437 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
 
 

Africa: African History from Ancient Egypt to Modern South Africa: Stories, People, and Events That Shaped the History of Africa

By Raymond C. Nelson

Raymond C. Nelson
Audible Audiobook

Africa: African History from Ancient Egypt to Modern South Africa: Stories, People, and Events That Shaped the History of Africa
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What wove the African continent into the rich fabric of cultures and peoples that it is today?

Where did ancient culture, trade, and civilization begin?

How did the African people survive and thrive despite European colonization and apartheid?

These are just some of the questions you'll find answers to in Africa: African History from Ancient Egypt to Modern South Africa.

Africa is a vast continent whose waters, fertile lands, minerals, and diverse wildlife nurtured humankind since ancient times until European colonization and exploitation caused immeasurable suffering and loss. To understand how Africa developed, thrived, suffered, and emerged into the rich tapestry of peoples that it is today, take a trip back to the ancient River Nile and the East African coast.

Witness:

  • The development of small settlements into three distinct cultures
  • The Carthaginian Empire grow and flourish as an economic and commercial power
  • The settlement of the Zimbabwe plateau and the construction of enormous stone cities
  • The emergence of the Kingdom of Kongo and its expansion through peaceful trade and alliances
  • The upheaval, atrocities, wars, and eventual stability created by European colonization
  • The founding of the Congo Free State and the growth of forced labor to extract valuable resources from the land
  • The decolonization of Africa and the return of territorial sovereignty and independence
  • The forced racial segregation under apartheid and the birth of a new constitution that ended it
  • The founding of the African Union to establish norms across the continent

Start your study of the struggles and triumphs of the African people today with Africa: African History from Ancient Egypt to Modern South Africa.

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.

Internal Frontiers: African Nationalism and the Indian Diaspora in Twentieth-Century South Africa (New African Histories)

By Jon Soske

Ohio University Press
Paperback (360 pages)

Internal Frontiers: African Nationalism and the Indian Diaspora in Twentieth-Century South Africa (New African Histories)
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In this ambitious new history of the antiapartheid struggle, Jon Soske places India and the Indian diaspora at the center of the African National Congress’s development of an inclusive philosophy of nationalism. In so doing, Soske combines intellectual, political, religious, urban, and gender history to tell a story that is global in reach while remaining grounded in the everyday materiality of life under apartheid.

Even as Indian independence provided black South African intellectuals with new models of conceptualizing sovereignty, debates over the place of the Indian diaspora in Africa (the “also-colonized other”) forced a reconsideration of the nation’s internal and external boundaries. In response to the traumas of Partition and the 1949 Durban Riots, a group of thinkers in the ANC, centered in the Indian Ocean city of Durban and led by ANC president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Luthuli, developed a new philosophy of nationhood that affirmed South Africa’s simultaneously heterogeneous and fundamentally African character.

Internal Frontiers is a major contribution to postcolonial and Indian Ocean studies and charts new ways of writing about African nationalism.

A History of South Africa

By Frank Welsh

Harpercollins Pub Ltd
Paperback (656 pages)

A History of South Africa
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'A remarkable feat of scholarship, fairness and readability, full of lively detail with a freshness of style which brings new life to the narrative' Anthony Sampson Throughout its turbulent history, South Africa has frequently been the focus of worldwide attention -- usually hostile. Yet prejudice and ignorance about the country are widespread. The evolution of the present-day 'Rainbow Nation' has taken place under conditions of sometimes extreme pressure. Since long before the arrival of the first European settlers in the seventeenth century, the country has been home to a complex and uneasily co-existing blend of races and cultures, and successive waves of immigrants have added to the already volatile mixture. Despite the euphoria which greeted the dismantling of the apartheid system and the election as President of Nelson Mandela in April 1994, South Africa's history, racial mix and recent political upheavals suggest it will not easily free itself from the legacy of its tumultuous past. Newly revised and updated, Frank Welsh's vividly written, even-handed and authoritative history casts new light on many of South Africa's most cherished myths. Like his A History of Hong Kong, it will surely come to be regarded as definitive.


 
 
 

 
 
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