A century after the South African War (1899-1902), historians are beginning to reevaluate the accepted wisdom regarding the scope of the war, its participants, and its impact. Writing a Wider War charts some of the changing historical constructions of the memorialization of suffering during the war.
Writing a Wider War presents a dramatically new interpretation of the role of Boer women in the conflict and profoundly changes how we look at the making of Afrikaner nationalism. African experiences of the war are also examined, highlighting racial subjugation in the context of colonial war and black participation, and showcasing important new research by African historians.
The collection includes a reassessment of British imperialism and probing essays on J. A. Hobson; the masculinist nature of life on commando among Boer soldiers; Anglo-Jewry; secularism; health and medicine; nursing, women, and disease in the concentration camps; and the rivalry between British politicians and generals. An examination of the importance of the South African War in contemporary British political economy, and the part played by imperial propaganda, rounds off a thoroughly groundbreaking reinterpretation of this formative event in South Africa's history.
Greg Cuthbertson is chair of the department of history at the University of South Africa and coordinating editor of the South African Historical Journal. More info →
Albert Grundlingh is professor of history at the University of Stellenbosch. More info →
Mary-Lynn Suttie is a senior research librarian for history and politics at the University of South Africa. More info →
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E.H. Carr said: “Before you study the history, study the historian.” Written history often tells us more about the historian’s own times than it does of the times about which he is writing. The historians and the way in which each generation has rewritten history in the light of its own preoccupations is the subject of The Changing Past. This is the first book-length survey in English that covers all the main trends in South African historiography.
Slavery, Emancipation and Colonial Rule in South Africa examines the rural Cape Colony from the earliest days of Dutch colonial rule in the mid-seventeenth century to the outbreak of the South African War in 1899. For slaves and slave owners alike, incorporation into the British Empire at the beginning of the nineteenth century brought fruits that were bittersweet.
First published in 1916 and one of South Africa's great political books, Native Life in South Africa was first and foremost a response to the Native's Land Act of 1913, and was written by one of the most gifted and influential writers and journalists of his generation. Sol T. Plaatje provides an account of the origins of this crucially important piece of legislation and a devastating description of its immediate effects.