Diamonds, Gold, and War: The British, the Boers, and the Making of South Africa

Front Cover
PublicAffairs, 2007 - History - 570 pages
28 Reviews
Southern Africa was once regarded as a worthless jumble of British colonies, Boer republics, and African chiefdoms, a troublesome region of little interest to the outside world. But then prospectors chanced first upon the world's richest deposits of diamonds, and then upon its richest deposits of gold. What followed was a titanic struggle between the British and the Boers for control of the land, culminating in the costliest, bloodiest, and most humiliating war that Britain had waged in nearly a century, and in the devastation of the Boer republics.

Martin Meredith's magisterial account of those years portrays the great wealth and raw power, the deceit, corruption, and racism that lay behind Britain's empire-building in southern Africa. Based on significant new research and filled with atmospheric detail, it focuses on the fascinating rivalry between diamond titan Cecil Rhodes and Paul Kruger, the Boer leader whose only education was the Bible, who believed the earth was flat, yet who defied Britain's prime ministers and generals for nearly a quarter of a century.Diamonds, Gold and Warmakes palpable the cost of western greed to Africa's native peoples, and explains the rise of the virulent Afrikaner nationalism that eventually took hold in South Africa, with repercussions lasting nearly a century.

  

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Review: Diamonds, Gold, and War: The Making of South Africa

User Review  - Jason Burkhardt - Goodreads

A good introduction to the early colonial/exploitation history of South Africa. Won't carry you far enough for Mandela and apartheid but there is so much more to read here that isn't common knowledge. It can be a bit dry, but I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in African history. Read full review

Review: Diamonds, Gold, and War: The Making of South Africa

User Review  - Bob - Goodreads

This is an outstanding book which tells the story of South Africa from the 19th century up to the mid 20th century. Most of the book focuses on the two men: Cecil Rhodes and Paul Kruger. Rhodes was a ... Read full review

Contents

Diamond Fever
13
Blue Ground
22
Kimberley
33
The Diggers Revolt
41
Enter the Magnates
50
The Imperial Factor
63
Oom Paul
74
The Washing of Spears
85
Not for Posterity
270
The Loot Committee
279
PART VII
283
A Tale of Two Towns
291
The Randlords
302
The Rhodes Conspiracy
311
Jamesons Raid 323
323
Missing Telegrams
335

Majuba
95
The Diamond Bubble
107
The Stripping Clause
113
Dreams and Fantasies
125
The Road to the North
133
The German Spectre
143
The Most Powerful Company in the World
153
PART IV
161
A Chosen People
167
Johannesburg
176
The Corner House
186
A Marriage of Convenience
194
PART V
205
The Place of Slaughter
207
The Balance of Africa
214
To Ophir Direct
229
Krugers Protectorate
238
PART VI
240
Groote Schuur
247
A Bill for Africa
259
By Right of Conquest
354
The Richest Spot on Earth
365
Nemesis
378
The Great Game
386
The Drumbeat for War
403
Ultimatums
416
The Fortunes of War
427
Marching to Pretoria
436
Scorched Earth
449
The Bitter End
462
Envoi
470
The Sunnyside Strategy
481
Vukani Bantu
494
The Black Ordinance
504
The Sphinx Problem
511
Epilogue
520
Chapter Notes
527
Select Bibliography
539
Index
551
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Martin Meredith is a journalist, biographer, and historian who has written extensively on Africa and its recent history. His previous books include Our Votes, Our Guns: Robert Mugabe and the Tragedy of Zimbabwe and The Fate of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence. He lives near Oxford, England.

Bibliographic information