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Publisher's Summary

With the passing of Nelson Mandela, ‘the father of the nation’, comes the end of an era, and the moment to look back on his remarkable saving, and remaking, of South Africa.

After years of oppression and racial inequality, concentrated violence and apartheid, Mandela led the country to unite ‘for the freedom of us all’ as the country’s first black President.

South Africa: History in an Hour gives a lively account of the formation of modern South Africa, from the first contact with seventeenth-century European sailors, through the colonial era, the Boer Wars, apartheid and the establishment of a tolerant democracy in the late twentieth century. Here is a clear and fascinating overview of the emergence of the ‘Rainbow Nation’.

Know your stuff: read about South African history in just one hour.

©2012 Anthony Holmes (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"If the past is a foreign country, History in an Hour is like a high-class tour operator, offering delightfully enjoyable short breaks in the rich and diverse continent of our shared past." (Dominic Sandbrook)
"The practice of History is ever-evolving, and the History In An Hour idea brings it back up to date for the digital age." (Andrew Roberts, Bookseller)
"This is genius." (MacWorld.com)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Learning A Little More

I became aware of South Africa at a young age. South Africa had refused to allow Arthur Ashe to enter the country to compete in a tennis match. I was an ardent sports fan and much of my knowledge and awareness of the world came in the context of sports. In that vein the banning of the Republic of South Africa from the Olympics gave me more information about apartheid. Finally I read James Michener's book on South Africa, which put the events of the time into more context. This short look at the country's history gave needed information for many people who knew only the headlines of the last thirty years.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Informative brief history of South Africa

Perfect for us before we begin a trip to South Africa. Would recommend to others in our situation.

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Nice overview of South African history

I thought the book does a very good job of highlighting the important points for American readers of a complex history of South Africa.

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SA history for dummies

This is a good synopsis of the history of South Africa, its people, and governments. The reader goes really fast and I needed to pause frequently to look up places and Google people .

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Aappalling r onouncia tion .

As a South African I found it extremely difficult to follow because of the totally incorrect pronunciation of the South African names and phrases. so insensitive. Surely a recording of this calibre demands preparation. shocking!.

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Perfect length for a quick summary of South Africa

Quick and concise history of South Africa's modern history (from 1850-1995). This was perfect for a family heading over for a vacation.

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Well read and gives a good overview

The history of South Africa and apartheid is too vast to tell in detail in only one hour. But this gives a good overview of the major events leading up to apartheid and the events leading to the end of the regime and political doctrine. I do however lack a nuanced view of what the different parties involved wanted and why. The book starts by saying that there are different views on what the truth is, and that all parties will tell history from their perspective. I agree with this, but would still have liked the author to at least mention the point of view of the pro-apartheid people of South Africa. I had troubles understanding why they implemented the laws to begin with, the jump to that being mentioned was too quick.

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wonderful , short concise history of South Africa.

wonderful short concise history of South Africa. wish other history books were like this. cant wait to listen to this again.

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  • denbydale1
  • 09-14-17

facts wrong

Netherlands king never sought refuge in UK, so how did change south Africa from Dutch to English?
malaria in Kalahari?
6 atomic bombs developed in south Africa?

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