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A History of South Africa: From the Distant Past to the Present Day

Pretorius, Fransjohan

Published by Protea Boekhuis
ISBN 10: 1869199081 / ISBN 13: 9781869199081
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Title: A History of South Africa: From the Distant ...

Publisher: Protea Boekhuis

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New


Editor(s): Pretorius, FransJohan. Translator(s): Theron, Bridget. Num Pages: 704 pages, maps. BIC Classification: 1HFMS; HBJH. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 230 x 150 x 49. Weight in Grams: 1202. . 2014. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9781869199081

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Synopsis: This extensive history of South Africa was written by some of the country?s most prominent historians. Its broad scope includes South Africa's pre-colonial history, slavery, Afrikaner nationalism, an environmental history and an analysis of a post-apartheid South Africa. Some relevant questions are asked in this book. For example, Who were the first people in South Africa? And who came after them? How did their interaction help to form this country? Where do we stand as a nation today? Chapters include the Anglo-Boer War, the establishment of apartheid, a different view on apartheid and the democratic puberty. Two chapters are about the struggle against the Afrikaner and focus on the black resistance movement. The author said in a recent interview: "We did not try and justify apartheid, but one has to know what it was all about". Prof Hermann Giliomee also poses the question in his chapter: "Was apartheid all bad?" This extensive history of South Africa was written by some of the country?s most prominent historians and is meant to put the complex history of South Africa into perspective. The author emphasizes that the book is an effort to understand people's behavior in the history of South Africa.


The Republic of South Africa, is a country located at the southern tip of Africa. It has 2,798 kilometers of coastline that stretches along the South Atlantic and Indian oceans. To the north lie the neighboring countries of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe; to the east are Mozambique and Swaziland; and within it lies Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South African territory. South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world by land area, and with close to 53 million people, is the world's 25th-most populous nation. South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, which is among the highest number of any country in the world. Two of these languages are of European origin: English and Afrikaans, the latter originating from Dutch and serving as the first language of most white and colored South Africans. Though English is commonly used in public and commercial life, it is only the fourth most-spoken first language. Compiled and edited by Fransjohan Pretorius (Professor of History, University of Pretoria), "A History of South Africa: From the Distant Past to the Present Day" is a 706 page compendium presenting a comprehensive overview of the history of South Africa presented in twenty-nine informative articles beginning with South Africa's primeval past, to the Dutch era, to the coming of the British, to the struggle against apartheid, to the current era of developing trade unions, and the establishment of a democracy. Of special note is Elize S. van Eeden's article 'An environmental history of South Africa'. Enhanced with the inclusion of maps, a bibliography, and a comprehensive index, "A History of South Africa: From the Distant Past to the Present Day" is a remarkable work that should be a part of every academic library's World History collection in general, and the supplemental studies reading lists for students of South African history in particular.

--- Midwest Book Review

About the Author: FRANSJOHAN PRETORIUS is a professor in History at the University of Pretoria and has written or edited eight books about the Anglo-Boer War. His book Life on Commando during the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902 was the runner-up in the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award. He has also won numerous awards for his contributions about the Anglo-Boer War.

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