Shaka's Children: A History of the Zulu People

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9780006384687: Shaka's Children: A History of the Zulu People

Shaka, founder of the Zulu nation, has been portrayed as a pitiless and savage conqueror who depopulated much of southern Africa. Yet in the 1820s, British fortune-seekers who came upon the Zulu described a civilized and dignified people whose martial skills were tempered by generosity and hospitality. As expanding colonial populations entered Zuluterritory, an image grew up of the Zulu warrior as a regimented man-killing machine. Only from the ashes of Isandlwana and Rorke's drift was the Zulu resurrected as a noble savage, magnificent, particularly in defeat. This account conjures the atmosphere of the past through close adherence to contemporary oral sources. The Zulu world - its passions, intrigues and ideals, the sly white traders, the sqabbling Boers, the thunderous battles and the bright African landscape are all explored in detail.

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Review:

Western literature abounds with histories of nations and their leaders, but few texts have been offered on Africa's fierce and enduring Zulu people. Stephen Taylor, a writer for The Times of London, tells of the rise to power of Shaka, who engineered a bloody conquest of African lands and struggle against British imperialism. In addition, Taylor folds the remarkable history of the Zulu nation into an examination of the tribe's burgeoning nationalism and its relationship with the Xhosa people and whites in present-day South Africa.

Review:

A concise and up-to-date history of the Zulu people intended for a wide readership ... welcomed, all the more so because Shaka's life and heritage have renewed significance in modern South Africa. -- The New York Times Book Review, Noel Mostert

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