Synopses & Reviews
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 worlds 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.”
Based on significant new research and filled with atmospheric detail, this history makes palpable the cost of greed to Africa's native peoples, and explains the rise of the virulent nationalism that eventually had taken over South Africa.
About the Author
Martin Meredith is a journalist, biographer, and historian who has written extensively on Africa and its recent history. His previous books include Mugabe and The Fate of Africa. He lives near Oxford, England.