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In this riveting new book, John Laband, pre-eminent historian of the Zulu Kingdom, tackles some of the questions that swirl around the assassination in 1828 of King Shaka, the celebrated founder of the Zulu Kingdom and war leader of legendary brilliance: Why did prominent members of the royal house conspire to kill him? Just how significant a part did the white hunter-traders settled at Port Natal play in their royal patron's downfall? Why were Shaka's relations with the British Cape Colony key to his survival? And why did the powerful army he had created acquiesce so tamely in the usurpation of the throne by Dingane, his half-brother and assassin?
In his search for answers Laband turns to the Zulu voice heard through recorded oral testimony and praise-poems, and to the written accounts and reminiscences of the Port Natal trader-hunters and the despatches of Cape officials. In the course of probing and assessing this evidence the author vividly brings the early Zulu kingdom and its inhabitants to life. He throws light on this elusive character of and his own unpredictable intentions, while illuminating the fears and ambitions of those attempting to prosper and survive in his hazardous kingdom: a kingdom that nevertheless endured in all its essential characteristics, particularly militarily, until its destruction fifty one years later in 1879 by the British; and whose fate, legend has it, Shaka predicted with his dying breath.
The Jameson Raid was a pivotal moment in the history of South Africa, linking events from the Anglo-Boer War to the declaration of the Union of South Africa in 1910. For over a century the failed revolution has been interpreted through the lens of British imperialism, with responsibility laid at the feet of Cecil John Rhodes. Yet the wild adventurism that characterised the raid resembles a cowboy expedition more than a serious attempt to overthrow a Boer government.
In The Cowboy Capitalist, Charles van Onselen challenges a historiography of over 120 years, locating the raid in American rather than British history and forcing us to rethink the histories of at least three nations. Through a close look at the little-remembered figure of John Hays Hammond, a confidant of both Rhodes and Jameson, he discovers the American Old West on the South African Highveld.
This radical reinterpretation challenges the commonly held belief that the Jameson Raid was quintessentially British and, in doing so, drives splinters into our understanding of events as far forward as South Africa’s critical 1948 general election, with which the foundations of Grand Apartheid were laid.
In A Short History Of South Africa, Gail Nattrass, historian and educator, presents the reader with a brief, general account of South Africa’s history, from the very beginning to the present day, from the first evidence of hominid existence, early settlement pre- and post-European arrival and the warfare through the 18th and 19th centuries that lead to the eventual establishment of modern South Africa.
This readable and thorough account, illustrated with maps and photographs, is a culmination of a lifetime of researching and teaching the broad spectrum of South African history, collecting stories, taking students on tours around the country, and working with distinguished historians.
Nattrass’s passion for her subject shines through, whether she is elucidating the reader on early humans in the cradle of humankind, or the tumultuous twentieth-century processes that shaped the democracy that is South Africa today. A must for all those interested in South Africa, within the country and abroad.
Paul Kruger: Toesprake en korrespondensie van 1881–1900 probeer om die klem te plaas op minder bekende briefwisseling en optredes van Kruger om sodoende ’n verteenwoordigende beeld van staatspresident Kruger se werksaamhede en standpunte aan te bied. Die teks is deeglik toegelig met ophelderende voetnote. Verder is ’n algemene inleiding, agtergrondsinligting en -ontleding verskaf by elke toepaslike breër tydperk in Kruger se lewe tot 1900.
Die beeld wat van Kruger na vore kom uit ’n deeglike ontleding van veral sy minder bekende korrespondensie en toesprake, verskil dikwels ingrypend van dit wat oor ’n lang tydperk in publikasies oor hom aangebied is. Hierdie publikasie vervul daarom ’n belangrike behoefte: Dit stel die leser in staat om regstreeks deur die lees en bestudering van Kruger se standpunte tot eie en nuwe gevolgtrekkings te kom.
The Wretched of the Earth is a classic, political work which has gained prominence in SA during the recent student (and political) uprisings. It is an in- depth analysis of the effects of colonisation on the individual in society. It examines the consequences of a decolonising struggle and the needed path to liberation. Themes of class, race, violence and culture are discussed, and this book has had a major impact on civil and human rights, anti-colonialism, and black consciousness movements around the world, and is currently hotly-debated in SA.
In South Africa, two unmistakable features describe post-Apartheid politics. The first is the formal framework of liberal democracy, including regular elections, multiple political parties and a range of progressive social rights. The second is the politics of the ‘extraordinary’, which includes a political discourse that relies on threats and the use of violence, the crude re-racialization of numerous conflicts, and protests over various popular grievances. In this highly original work, Thiven Reddy shows how conventional approaches to understanding democratization have failed to capture the complexities of South Africa’s post-Apartheid transition. Rather, as a product of imperial expansion, the South African state, capitalism and citizen identities have been uniquely shaped by a particular mode of domination, namely settler colonialism. South Africa, Settler Colonialism and the Failures of Liberal Democracy is an important work that sheds light on the nature of modernity, democracy and the complex politics of contemporary South Africa.
In the first half of the nineteenth century, Southern Africa was a jumble of British colonies, Boer republics and African chiefdoms, a troublesome region of little interest to the outside world. Into this frontier world came the Reitz family, Afrikaner gentry from the Cape, who settled in Bloemfontein and played a key role in the building of the Orange Free State.
Frank Reitz, successively chief justice and modernising president of the young republic, went on to serve as State Secretary of the Transvaal Republic. In 1899, he stood shoulder to shoulder with President Paul Kruger to resist Britain’s war of conquest in Southern Africa. At the heart of this tale is the extraordinary life of Deneys Reitz, third son of Frank Reitz and Bianca Thesen. The young Reitz’s account of his adventures in the field during the Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902), published as Commando, became a classic of irregular warfare. After a period of exile in Madagascar, he went on become one of South Africa’s most distinguished lawyers, statesmen and soldiers. Martin Meredith interweaves Reitz’s experiences, taken from his unpublished notebooks, with the wider story of Britain’s brutal suppression of Boer resistance.
Concise and readable, Afrikaner Odyssey is a wide-ranging portrait of an aristocratic Afrikaner family whose achievements run like fine thread through these turbulent times, and whose presence is still marked on the South African landscape.
Die Herero-opstand 1904–1907 is ’n heruitgawe van ’n boek wat ses keer tussen 1976 en 1979 deur HAUM gepubliseer is. Die lotgevalle van die Hererovolk word in hierdie boek geskets, ’n stuk geskiedenis wat ’n sentrale plek in Namibie se kleurryke geskiedenis beklee. Die opstand van die Herero’s in 1904 teen Duitse koloniale gesag kan beskou word as die enkele gebeurtenis wat die gebied se volksverhoudinge die ingrypendste verander het. Die Herero-opstand 1904–1907 vertel van die geleidelike opbou na die konflik, die skielike uitbarsting van geweld en die tragiese afloop vir die Herero’s toe duisende verhonger het en hulle grond en politieke seggenskap verloor het.
Die agtste en laaste deel van die reeks Kolonie aan die Kaap beskryf die agteruitgang en verval van die VOC en die gevolge wat dit vir Kaap gehad het gedurende die laaste kwarteeu van die VOC-bewind. Swanesang dek die tydperk vanaf die dood van goewerneur Rijk Tulbagh tot en met die eerste Britse besetting van die Kaap in 1795. Sy opvolgers, J.A van Pletterberg, J.C. de Graaff, die waarnemende goewerneur Rhenius en die laaste goewerneur, J.A. Sluysken, en die onsekerheid wat die laaste deel van die VOC-tydperk gekenmerk het, word belig. Afgesien van die amptelike rolle wat verskeie VOC-amptenare gespeel het, word ook aandag aan hulle karaktereienskappe en persoonlike lewens gegee om sodoende lewe aan die geskiedkundige figure te gee. Schoeman slaag egter veral daarin om naas die amptenary ook ’n beeld te gee van die lewe van gewone mense in die breer Kaapse samelewing. Besonder boeiend is die bespreking van die reise van verskeie natuurkundiges, soos die Swede Thunberg en Sparrman, die Skotte Masson en Paterson, die Nederlander Robert Jacob Gordon en die Franse Sonnerat en Le Vaillant. Veral die flambojante Le Vaillant se boeke was baie populer en het bygedra om die Kaap en sy interessante fauna en flora wyd bekend te maak. In die laaste hoofstukke word aandag gegee aan die Franse Rewolusie en ander politieke veranderinge in Europa wat Nederland verswak en tot die Britse oorname van die Kaap gelei het.
In analyzing the obstacles to democratization in post- independence Africa, Mahmood Mamdani offers a bold, insightful account of colonialism's legacy-a bifurcated power that mediated racial domination through tribally organized local authorities, reproducing racial identity in citizens and ethnic identity in subjects. Many writers have understood colonial rule as either "direct" (French) or "indirect" (British), with a third variant-apartheid-as exceptional. This benign terminology, Mamdani shows, masks the fact that these were actually variants of a despotism. While direct rule denied rights to subjects on racial grounds, indirect rule incorporated them into a "customary" mode of rule, with state-appointed Native Authorities defining custom. By tapping authoritarian possibilities in culture, and by giving culture an authoritarian bent, indirect rule (decentralized despotism) set the pace for Africa; the French followed suit by changing from direct to indirect administration, while apartheid emerged relatively later. Apartheid, Mamdani shows, was actually the generic form of the colonial state in Africa. Through case studies of rural (Uganda) and urban (South Africa) resistance movements, we learn how these institutional features fragment resistance and how states tend to play off reform in one sector against repression in the other. Reforming a power that institutionally enforces tension between town and country, and between ethnicities, is the key challenge for anyone interested in democratic reform in Africa.
Wanneer ’n mens aan die ervarings van Boerevroue en -kinders tydens die Anglo-Boereoorlog dink, is die outomatiese konnotasie die van konsentrasiekamplyding. ’n Fassinerende en grotendeels onbekende buitebeentjie in hierdie genre is die dagboek van Anna Barry, waaruit ’n unieke en veelkantige beeld van die oorlog na vore kom. Aan die een kant van Anna se oorlogservaring staan haar broer Japie – ’n begeesterde jong soldaat wat uiteindelik as krygsgevangene op Ceylon sterf. Hierteenoor le haar geliefde pa Thomas (aanvanklik ’n gerespekteerde veldkornet) al in 1900 die eed van neutraliteit af, en wag hy die grootste gedeelte van die oorlog in die neutrale Basoetoland uit. Vir die tienderjarige Anna is die oorlog as gevolg hiervan ’n uiters verwarrende ervaring en haar dagboek bied ’n sonderlinge blik op die gefragmenteerdheid en buigbaarheid van konsepte soos “identiteit”, “nasie” en “volk”. Die feit dat die dagboek eers in 1960 vir die eerste keer gepubliseer is en daarna grotendeels in die vergetelheid verval het, is verder veelseggend in terme van hoe Anna self verwag het haar ervarings kort na die oorlog ontvang sou word – maar ook in terme van hoe blinde lojaliteit aan sekere groepe so dikwels in die geskiedenis van Suid-Afrikaners vereis is. Die dagboekteks, geboekstut deur Ena Jansen se insiggewende en verhelderende voor- en nawoord, bied nie slegs ’n sonderlinge blik op die Anglo-Boereoorlog nie, maar is verweef met kwessies van taal, politieke mag en sosiale status wat vandag nog net so relevant is soos toe die dagboek geskryf is.
Remains of the Social is an interdisciplinary volume of essays that engages with what `the social' might mean after apartheid; a condition referred to as `the post-apartheid social'. The volume grapples with apartheid as a global phenomenon that extends beyond the borders of South Africa between 1948 and 1994 and foregrounds the tension between the weight of lived experience that was and is apartheid, the structures that condition that experience and a desire for a `postapartheid social' (think unity through difference). Collectively, the contributors argue for a recognition of the `the post-apartheid' as a condition that names the labour of coming to terms with the ordering principles that apartheid both set in place and foreclosed. The volume seeks to provide a sense of the terrain on which `the post-apartheid'- as a desire for a difference that is not apartheid's difference - unfolds, falters and is worked through.
Daar is reeds baie navorsing gedoen en ‘n groot aantal publikasies het verskyn oor die geskiedenis van die Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC) se tyd aan die Kaap. Nogtans het baie kundiges ‘n behoefte aan ‘n gesaghebbende publikasie wat die VOC se bewindstyd aan die Kaap volledig sou behandel, geidentifiseer. 'n Motivering was 'n nuwe belangstelling in die Kompanjiesgeskiedenis en heelwat aspekte van die VOC se verbintenis met Suid-Afrika wat nog nie in die historiografie neerslag gevind het nie. Sewentien medewerkers, wat elkeen ‘n deskundige op sy of haar besondere terrein is, is gewerf. Aspekte wat bespreek word, is die ontdekking van die seeroetes na die Ooste en die Amerikas teen die einde van die 16de eeu en die interafhanklikheid wat daardeur tussen Europa, die Ooste en die Amerikas ontstaan het. Dit het ook in Nederland neerslag gevind met die ontstaan van die VOC in 1602 en die groei van sy Oosterse handelsryk in die 17de eeu, wat dit die eerste groot internasionale handelsmaatskappy gemaak het. Daarna word die maatskappy se geleidelike agteruitgang en sy uiteindelike ondergang aan die einde van die 18de eeu geskets. Daar word gefokus op die rol wat die Kaapse diensstasie in die VOC se Oosterse handel gespeel het, die Kaapse bestuursinstellings en owerheidsdienste word bespreek en aandag word gegee aan die verdediging van die Kaap – die strategiese waarde van die Kaap en die verdedigingstelsel om dit te beskerm, die verdediging teen ‘n buitelandse bedreiging en die bekamping van binnelandse bedreigings. Laastens word die regspraak, gesondheidsdienste en onderwys volledig behandel. Daar is ook 'n fokus op die verskillende bevolkings-, kulturele of beroepsgroepe aan die Kaap, te wete die Khoisan, die Kompanjiesamptenare, die vryburgers, die slawe en die gemengde of “bruin” bevolkingsgroep. Ten slotte is daar 'n samevattende oorsig op die geskiedkundige nalatenskap van die VOC se teenwoordigheid aan die Kaap op die ontstaan en ontwikkeling van Suid-Afrika soos ons dit vandag ken.
In Critique of Black Reason eminent critic Achille Mbembe offers a capacious genealogy of the category of Blackness-from the Atlantic slave trade to the present-to critically reevaluate history, racism, and the future of humanity. Mbembe teases out the intellectual consequences of the reality that Europe is no longer the world's center of gravity while mapping the relations between colonialism, slavery, and contemporary fi nancial and extractive capital. Tracing the conjunction of Blackness with the biological fiction of race, he theorizes Black reason as the collection of discourses and practices that equated Blackness with the nonhuman in order to uphold forms of oppression. Mbembe powerfully argues that this equation of Blackness with the nonhuman will serve as the template for all new forms of exclusion. With Critique of Black Reason, Mbembe offers nothing less than a map of the world as it has been constituted through colonialism and racial thinking while providing the first glimpses of a more just future.
In 1841, Nigel Halleck set out from Britain for Calcutta as a clerk in the East India Company. He served in the colonial administration for eight years before taking leave of his post, eventually disappearing in the mountain kingdom of Nepal, never to be heard from again. Despite most traces of his life being destroyed in the bombing of his home town of Coventry during the Second World War, Nigel was never quite forgotten - the family myth of the man who headed east would reverberate through the generations. A century-and-a-half later Kief Hillsbery, Nigel's nephew many times removed, embarked upon his own journey east, having promised his mother that he would search for the final resting place of their ancestor. What follows is a remarkable tale, beautifully rendered, weaving together a clash of civilizations in history, the quest to discover one's own identity and the moving tale of one man against an empire. A work of transportive power, The Tiger and the Ruby bestows upon us a very personal sense of a time and a place deep in the heart of British and Indian history.
`This is history bursting at the seams with English eccentrics and Indian gentry...the charm of Tunzelmann's approach is to restore her cast to full and vital life' Observer`A compelling narrative, sometimes controversial, occasionally perverse, never boring or unintelligent' SpectatorFully revised and updated for the 70th anniversary. The stroke of midnight on 15 August 1947 liberated 400 million Indians from the British Empire. One of the defining moments of world history had been brought about by a tiny number of people, including Jawaharlal Nehru, the fiery prime minister-to-be; Gandhi, the mystical figure who enthralled a nation; and Louis and Edwina Mountbatten, the glamorous but unlikely couple who had been dispatched to get Britain out of India without delay. Within hours of the midnight chimes, however, the two new nations of India and Pakistan would descend into anarchy and terror.Indian Summer depicts the epic sweep of events that ripped apart the greatest empire the world has ever seen, and reveals the secrets of the most powerful players on the world stage: the Cold War conspiracies, the private deals, and the intense and clandestine love affair between the wife of the last viceroy and the first prime minister of free India. With wit, insight and a sharp eye for detail, Alex von Tunzelmann relates how a handful of people changed the world for ever.
Luka Jantjie is today a largely forgotten hero of resistance to British colonialism. His place in South African history has tended to be overshadowed by events elsewhere in the region. This book attempts to redress the balance by recording his remarkable story. In 1870, at the beginning of the Kimberley diamond mining boom that was to transform southern Africa, Luka Jantjie was the first independent African ruler to lose his land to the new colonialists, who promptly annexed the diamond fields. His outspoken stand against the hypocrisy of colonial 'justice' earned him the epithet 'a wild fellow who hates the English'. As the son of an early Christian convert, Luka was brought up to respect peace and nonviolence; his boycott of rural trading stores in the early 1890s was perhaps the earliest use of non-violent resistance in colonial South Africa. His steady refusal to bow to colonial demands of subservience intensified the enmity of local colonists determined to 'teach him a lesson'. As many of his people succumbed to colonial pressures, Luka was twice forced to take up arms to defend himself and his people from colonial attacks. His life ended in a dramatic and heroic last stand in the ancestral sanctuary of the Langeberg mountain range, the consequences of which stretched far into the next century. The book highlights the following aspects: Luka as South African hero: one man's struggle to retain his people's land and freedom in the second half of the nineteenth century. Luka as a 'modern man': cattle-farmer, hunter, trader, diamond prospector and a man generally at ease with the modern world and the fast-growing economy of South Africa. Recovers the history of a people, the southern Tswana of the Northern Cape, a history which was effectively destroyed from the 1890s onwards by forced removals and land confiscations, with 2000 prisoners sent as indentured labourers to the Western Cape. The story told in this book demonstrates vividly their role in the struggle against colonialism. The Langeberg rebellion of 1897, which lasted over seven months, killed many colonial troops, and ended with Luka's death and controversial beheading.
An astonishingly wide-ranging history of Russian nationalism chronicling Russia's yearning for Empire and how it has affected its politics for centuriesIn 2014, Russia annexed Crimea and attempted to seize a portion of Ukraine. While the world watched in outrage, this violation of national sovereignty was in fact only the latest iteration of a centuries-long effort to expand Russian boundaries and create a pan-Russian nation. In Lost Kingdom, award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy argues that we can only understand the merging of imperialism and nationalism in Russia today by delving into its history. Spanning over two thousand years, from the end of the Mongol rule to the present day, Plokhy shows how leaders from Ivan the Terrible to Joseph Stalin to Vladimir Putin have exploited existing forms of identity, warfare and territorial expansion to achieve imperial supremacy. A strikingly ambitious book, Lost Kingdom chronicles the long and belligerent history of Russia's empire and nation-building quest.
This narrative aims to show how after its conquest, the Zulu kingdom was destroyed by the imperial policies of divide and rule, and how the Colenso family, especially the Bishop's eldest daughter, Harriette, took the lead in resisting colonial exploitation and imperial domination.This powerful and passionate narrative completes the story Jeff Guy began in his earlier books " The Destruction of the Zulu Kingdom" and "The Heretic."
`This is a wholly pleasing book, which offers a tasty side dish to anyone exploring the narrative history of the British Empire', Max Hastings, Sunday Times The glamorous daughter of an African chief shares a pineapple with a slave trader... Surveyors in British Columbia eat tinned Australian rabbit... Diamond prospectors in Guyana prepare an iguana curry... In twenty meals The Hungry Empire tells the story of how the British created a global network of commerce and trade in foodstuffs that moved people and plants from one continent to another, re-shaping landscapes and culinary tastes. To be British was to eat the world.The Empire allowed Britain to harness the globe's edible resources from cod fish and salt beef to spices, tea and sugar. By the twentieth century the wheat to make the working man's loaf of bread was supplied by Canada and his Sunday leg of lamb had been fattened on New Zealand's grasslands. Lizzie Collingham takes us on a wide-ranging culinary journey, charting the rise of sugar to its dominant position in our diets and locating the origins of the food industry in the imperial trade in provisions. Her innovative approach brings a fresh perspective to the making of the Empire, uncovering its decisive role in the shaping of the modern diet and revealing how virtually every meal we eat still contains a taste of empire.
The first comprehensive and authoritative history of the Koh-i Noor, arguably the most celebrated and mythologised jewel in the world. On 29 March 1849, the ten-year-old Maharajah of the Punjab was ushered into the magnificent Mirrored Hall at the centre of the great Fort in Lahore. There, in a public ceremony, the frightened but dignified child handed over to the British East India Company in a formal Act of Submission to Queen Victoria not only swathes of the richest land in India, but also arguably the single most valuable object in the subcontinent: the celebrated Koh-i Noor diamond. The Mountain of Light. The history of the Koh-i-Noor that was then commissioned by the British may have been one woven together from gossip of Delhi Bazaars, but it was to be become the accepted version. Only now is it finally challenged, freeing the diamond from the fog of mythology which has clung to it for so long. The resulting history is one of greed, murder, torture, colonialism and appropriation through an impressive slice of south and central Asian history. It ends with the jewel in its current controversial setting: in the crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Masterly, powerful and erudite, this is history at its most compelling and invigorating.
For the century and a half before the Second World War, Britain dominated the Indian subcontinent. Britain's East India Company ruled enclaves of land in South Asia for a century and a half before that. For these 300 years, conquerors and governors projected themselves as heroes and improvers. The British public were sold an image of British authority and virtue. But beneath the veneer of pomp and splendour, British rule in India was anxious, fragile and fostered chaos. Britain's Indian empire was built by people who wanted to make enough money to live well back in Britain, to avoid humiliation and danger, to put their narrow professional expertise into practice. The institutions they created, from law courts to railway lines, were designed to protect British power without connecting with the people they ruled. The result was a precarious regime that provided Indian society with no leadership, and which oscillated between paranoid paralysis and occasional moments of extreme violence. The lack of affection between rulers and ruled finally caused the system's collapse. But even after its demise, the Raj lives on in the false idea of the efficacy of centralized, authoritarian power. Indians responded to the peculiar nature of British power by doing things for themselves, creating organisations and movements that created an order and prosperity of its own. India Conquered revises the way we think about nation-building as much as empire, showing how many of the institutions that shaped twentieth century India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were built in response to British power. The result is an engaging story vital for anyone who wants to understand the history of empires and the origins of contemporary South Asian society.
In September 2012, UNESCO held its first ever consultation with member states on the subject of Holocaust and genocide education, recognising the importance of teaching the history of genocide. The aim was to find approaches to raise awareness about the recurrence of mass atrocities and genocide in different environments. It is in this context that Mohamed Adhikari has put together this title, giving perspective to historical European overseas conquests which included many instances of the extermination of indigenous peoples. In cases where invading commercial stock farmers clashed with hunter-gatherers - in southern Africa, Australia and the Americas - the conflict was particularly destructive, often resulting in a degree of dispossession and slaughter that destroyed the ability of these societies to reproduce themselves biologically or culturally. The question of whether this form of colonial conflict was inherently genocidal has not in any systematic way been addressed by scholars until now. Through chapters written by leading academics, this volume explores the nature of conflict between hunter-gatherers and market-oriented stock farmers in geographically and historically diverse instances, using a wide range of theoretical approaches and comparative studies, which also consider exceptions to the pattern of extermination.
The British engagement with India was an intensely visual one. Images of the subcontinent, produced by artists and travellers in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century heyday of the East India Company, reflect the role it played in Indian life. They mirror significant shifts in British policy and attitudes towards India. The Company's story is one of wealth, power, and the pursuit of profit. It changed what people in Europe ate, what they drank, and how they dressed. Ultimately, it laid the foundations of the British Raj. But few historians have considered the visual sources that survive and their implications for the link between images and empire, pictures and power. This book draws on the unrivalled riches of the British Library, telling the story of individual images, their creators, and the people and places they depict. It will present a detailed picture of the Company and its complex relationship with India, its people and cultures.
'Completely engrossing' Andrew RobertsFrom The New York Times bestselling author Candice Millard, this is the gripping true story of one dramatic - and emblematic - year in the early life of Winston ChurchillAt the age of twenty-four, Winston Churchill believed that to achieve his ambition of becoming Prime Minister he must do something spectacular on the battlefield. Although he had put himself in real danger in colonial wars in India and Sudan, and as a journalist covering the Spanish-American War in Cuba, glory and fame had eluded him.Churchill arrived in South Africa in 1899 to write about the brutal colonial war against the Boers. Just two weeks later, he was taken prisoner. Remarkably, he pulled off a daring escape - but then had to traverse hundreds of miles of enemy territory alone. The story of his escape is extraordinary enough, but then Churchill enlisted, returned to South Africa, fought in several battles and ultimately liberated the men with whom he had been imprisoned.Churchill would later remark that this period, 'could I have seen my future, was to lay the foundations of my later life'. Candice Millard tells a magnificent story of bravery, savagery and chance encounters with a cast of historical characters - including Rudyard Kipling, Lord Kitchener and Gandhi - with whom he would later share the world stage, and gives us an unexpected perspective on one of the iconic figures in our history.
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