The time has come to delve into the story of South Africa s turbulent history a story of exploration and conquest, rampant growth and war, oppression and ultimately, liberation. This selection of writings, from the most illuminating, entertaining andMoreThe time has come to delve into the story of South Africa s turbulent history a story of exploration and conquest, rampant growth and war, oppression and ultimately, liberation.
This selection of writings, from the most illuminating, entertaining and significant works written about the country and its diverse people, covers almost five centuries from the earliest encounters between colonists and the original inhabitants to the discovery of unimaginable wealth on the diamond and gold fields, from the Boer War and its bitter legacy to the greater tragedy of apartheid and its eventual demise.South Africa s rich history a story of exploration and conquest, of racial oppression and, ultimately, liberation deserves to be told in the raw.
Here, then, are the words not so much of historians, biographers and journalists but of settlers, explorers, hunters, travellers, missionaries, soldiers and politicians as well as of novelists, playwrights and poets.
The writers are settlers, explorers, administrators, missionaries, hunters, travellers, novelists, playwrights, poets and politicians. They include Jan van Riebeeck, the first Dutch governor of the Cape, whose journal is the most detailed account in history of a colonys founding- Mazisi Kunene, the Xhosa poet, who chronicled the rise of Shaka, the Zulu empire builder, in epic verse- W C Scully, who took part in the diamond rush at Kimberley that set South Africa on the path to unimaginable wealth- Jan Smuts, the Boer War general who, with Cecil Rhodes, the arch Imperialist, was one of the architects of apartheid- and Nelson Mandela, apartheids most famous victim, who became its nemesis.
The novelists include two Nobel prizewinners, Nadine Gordimer and John Maxwell Coetzee.All have been eye-witnesses to South Africas long journey from subjugation to freedom.