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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 (437 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
 
 

Dinosaurs, Diamonds and Democracy: A short, short history of South Africa

By Francis Wilson

Penguin Random House South Africa
Released: 2017-06-14
Paperback (144 pages)

Dinosaurs, Diamonds and Democracy: A short, short history of South Africa
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An asteroid the size of Table Mountain crashed into what was to become South Africa over 2 billion years ago, marking the spot. The country's history since then has always been robust and full of energy. This book takes you in record time from that moment, when the earth's richest gold reefs were shaped, to the advent of democracy in 1994, another event that stunned the world.

Along the way you will encounter some of the most ancient dinosaurs on record, the very first people on the planet, and the first cultures. You will see outsiders moving in to reshape history: hunters and gatherers, cultivators and herders, iron-workers from the north, and immigrants from Europe and Asia. They fought and made peace; they stumbled upon gold and diamonds; they rose to the heights of excellence and sunk to the depths of oppression, until on one day they all queued as equals to elect a government. That is the story marked by dinosaurs, diamonds and democracy.

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.”

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 Africa in World History (New Oxford World History)

By Iris Berger

Oxford University Press USA
Paperback (208 pages)

South Africa in World History (New Oxford World History)
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  • Oxford University Press USA
Product Description:
This volume begins in the early centuries of the Common Era with the various groups of people who had settled in southern Africa. Stone Age foragers, farmers with iron technology, and pastoralists all interacted to create a complex society before Europeans arrived. In the seventeenth century, Dutch settlers developed a colonial society based on the menial labor of indigenous inhabitants of the Cape and slaves imported from the East Indies and other parts of Africa.

British conquest in the early nineteenth century brought an end to slavery, as well as new forms of colonial domination, tension between the British and the original Dutch settlers, armed struggle between expanding European communities and Africans (including the highly militarized Zulu kingdom), and intensive missionary activity that transformed many African societies. The discovery of diamonds and gold in the late nineteenth century brought industrialization based on migrant labor, new clashes between British and Africaaners, the final conquest of African societies, and new European migrants. During the twentieth-century, despite further economic development, African communities were increasingly impoverished. New forms of racial domination lead to the implementation of apartheid in 1948 and heightened political organizing among both African and Africaaner nationalists. The intensification of resistance in the 1970s and '80s coupled with drastic changes in the international balance of power brought an end to the apartheid state in 1994 and an intensified struggle to overcome apartheid's economic and political legacy by building a new nonracial society.

The book emphasizes social and cultural history, focusing on people's interactions and identities according to race, class, gender, religion and ethnicity. It also addresses changes in literature (both oral and written), music, and the arts and draws on the extensive biographical and autobiographical literature to provide a personal focus for the discussion of major themes. While this emphasis reflects dominant trends in historical scholarship for the past two decades, it also includes recent material on environmental history and relationships between African Americans and South Africans. Where relevant, it highlights comparisons between South African and U.S. history.

Apartheid in South Africa: A Brief History with Documents (Bedford Series in History and Culture)

By David M. Gordon

Bedford/St. Martin's
Paperback (208 pages)

Apartheid in South Africa: A Brief History with Documents (Bedford Series in History and Culture)
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Explore apartheid through a well-rounded variety of primary documents as Apartheid in South Africa breaks down the rise and fall of one of the best-known systems of institutionalized and legalized racial and ethnic segregation.

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.

An Economic History of South Africa: Conquest, Discrimination and Development (Ellen McArthur Lectures)

By Charles H. Feinstein

Brand: Cambridge University Press
Paperback (328 pages)

An Economic History of South Africa: Conquest, Discrimination and Development (Ellen McArthur Lectures)
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Charles Feinstein surveys five hundred years of South African economic history from the years preceding European settlements in 1652 through to the post-Apartheid era. Following the early phase of slow growth, he charts the transformation of the economy as a result of the discovery of diamonds and gold in the 1870s, and the rapid rise of industry in the wartime years. Finally, emphasizing the ways by which the black population was deprived of land, and induced to supply labor for white farms, mines and factories, Feinstein documents the introduction of apartheid after 1948, and its consequences for economic performance,


 
 
 

 
 
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