Monday, June 30, 2014

New Africa Book of the Day - 30 June 2014

A History of South Africa: From the Distant Past to the Present Day, edited by Fransjohan Pretorius

Release Date: June 30, 2014
Publisher: Protea Boekhuis
[This book's] 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 [editor] 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 [editor] emphasizes that the book is an effort to understand people's behavior in the history of South Africa.
Fransjohan Pretorius, professor of history at the University of Pretoria, is author of The A to Z of the Anglo-Boer War (2010), Historical Dictionary of the Anglo-Boer War (2009), and Life On Commando During The Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902 (1999), among other books.  This edited volume includes chapters contributed by David Scher, Jan Visagie, Hermann Giliomee, and Jan-Jan Joubert.