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A History of South Africa (Yale Nota Bene) Paperback – 20 Mar 2001

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Paperback, 20 Mar 2001
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Product details

  • Paperback: 382 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 3rd Revised edition edition (20 Mar. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300087764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300087765
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 13 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 799,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A history that is both accurate and authentic, written in a delightful literary style."

Archbishop Desmond Tutu -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu

"An admirably objective history of South Africa ... will be most useful in contemplating the country's future."

Lorna Hahn, New York Times Book Review -- Lorna Hahn, New York Times Book Review

"An authoritative text by a distinguished historian."

Beverley Naidoo, Times Educational Supplement -- Beverley Naidoo, Times Educational Supplement

"This is a work of insight and durability that is certain to assist South Africa's coming generation of nation-builders to reach a more objective understanding of their past."

Foreign Affairs -- Foreign Affairs

"This work has received universal praise from scholars and activists alike."

Washington Post Book World -- Washington Post Book World

About the Author

Leonard Thompson is Charles J. Stille Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University and director of the former Yale Southern African Research Program. He has written and edited many books, including The Political Mythology of Apartheid, The Frontier in History (with Howard Lamar), and South African Politics (with Andrew Prior), all published by Yale University Press.


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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 15 Feb. 2003
Format: Paperback
Even though this is not a particularly long book, I found it took me longer to read it than is normal for a book of this size. The history of South Africa is presented in a very dry manner, not conducive to entertaining reading. Although it does what is says on the cover - tells the country's history - it does not grab the readers interest and as a consequence I forgot most of what I'd read in it soon after finishing it. I learned much more about South Africa from the sections devoted to it in Pakenham's The Scramble For Africa.
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Format: Paperback
I wanted to learn more about the history of South Africa and this book seemed just the ticket, especially as the blurbs on the cover said it had a good literary style. Perhaps I was expecting too much from a mere 296 pages (excl. indices etc.), but I was really disappointed by it. The book reads like a long list of Government Acts, with some statistics thrown in for good measure. There is practically no reference to the 'human' aspect of SA's history. It seems that the writer is trying so hard not to be judgemental that all emotion has been stripped from the content.
If you like your history books to be like schoolbooks you should have a field day, otherwise I'd steer clear.
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Format: Paperback
Thompson's "History" is very comprehensive for a book that is relatively short in length. His account of African and settler life before white hegemony gives readers fresh perspectives on 20th century issues. However, once Thompson finally addresses apartheid he totally neglects to address intraracial issues that make black South Africa the volitile place it is. Instead, Thompson oversimplifies all of the issues facing South Africa by making them 'white vs. black.' Regardless, Thompson's book is a good reference for early South African history.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good starter for an all round history of SA. Not enough details in some parts but gives you a good basis. If you want more detail then you would need a more specific book
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