A leading scholar of South Africa provides a fresh and penetrating exploration of that country's history, from the earliest known human inhabitation of the region to the present, focusing primarily on the experiences of its black inhabitants. For this third edition, Leonard Thompson adds two new chapters that describe the transfer of power and the new South Africa under the presidencies of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.
Factual, and complete
By Scott W. - December 11, 2000
"I did not think it was possible for a white person to write a history of South Africa which a black South African would find to be a fair and accurate account of a beautiful land and its people. Leonard Thompson has disabused me of that notion. His is a history that is both accurate and authentic, written in a delightful literary style." -- Archbishop Desmond TutuThis truly is an incredible historical masterpiece. The account begins with two chapters dedicated to the early Africans before European intervention, and ends with the fall of apartheid and a new beginning for South Africa. It is a easy to read, and is a real page-turner.The reason I picked this book up was I wanted to dig beneath the surface of the country's history. I learned about the two Afrikaner Republics - The Orange Free State, and the Transvaal Republic - and how they were incorporated, reluctantly, into the Union of South Africa at the beginning of the 20th century. The detail is incredible, and... read more
Thorough and factual, except for the end ...
By Pri$m - March 13, 2005
I found every part of this book, except for the last chapter, to be thorough, even-handed and well written. As a South African with a strong interest in our history seeking to flesh out an incomplete knowledge of it, this is the best and most complete source I have found so far.
The third edition contains two new chapters: the first one describes the negotiation process and the transition to the new government, and the second is a description of the state of the New South Africa. The transition chapter is excellent -- it is insightful, fascinating and highly relevant to South Africa today.
However, I found the final chapter of this book to be badly written, overly pessimistic and, in places, dangerously subjective. Part of this is because it was written in 2000, and doesn't include some of the serious progress made since then -- for example, it mentions the sharp drop in the Rand's value in 1999 and 2000, but not its subsequent strong and equally rapid recovery... read more
Not good enough for a History Book
By Book Nut - June 16, 2006
I very much looked forward to receiving this book through the mail, due to the tons of praise which people expressed for it. I am however very disappointed. I have only read the first few pages (including the first one which quotes the multitude of praise) with emphasis on the summary/chronology of South African history. I am a South African, and I find it littered with inaccuracies which SHOULD NOT be present in a history book. It is painfully obvious that the book was written by a foreigner. Examples: The Boer war becomes "The war between the whites". I would have liked to see the Rand Revolt mentioned by name. Botha becomes prime minister. Botha who? Pik? PW? A newcomer to SA history should not have to guess at such things. 1981-1988 South African forces invade Angola. Uh....NO. SA started incursions into Angola in 1976. Since this is a history of SA, I will point out that a quick scan of the book reveals no more detail around these events, yet he takes a cheap shot at the... read more
Infectious Diseases of South Africa is one in a series of GIDEON ebooks which summarize the status of individual infectious diseases, in every country of the world. Data are based on the GIDEON web ...