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Publisher's Summary

The Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) is one of the most intriguing conflicts of modern history. It has been labeled many things: the first media war, a precursor of the First and Second World Wars, the originator of apartheid. The difference in status and resources between the superpower Great Britain and two insignificant Boer republics in southern Africa was enormous. But, against all expectation, it took the British every effort and a huge sum of money to win the war, not least by unleashing a campaign of systematic terror against the civilian population.

In The Boer War, winner of the Netherland's 2013 Libris History Prize and shortlisted for the 2013 AKO Literature Prize, the author brings a completely new perspective to this chapter of South African history, critically examining the involvement of the Netherlands in the war. Furthermore, unlike other accounts, Martin Bossenbroek explores the war primarily through the experiences of three men uniquely active during the bloody conflict. They are Willem Leyds, the Dutch lawyer who was to become South African Republic state secretary and eventual European envoy; Winston Churchill, then a British war reporter; and Deneys Reitz, a young Boer commando. The vivid and engaging experiences of these three men enables a more personal and nuanced story of the war to be told, and, at the same time, offers a fresh approach to a conflict that shaped the nation-state of South Africa.

©2012  Martin Bossenbroeck (P)2017   Recorded Books

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Excellent Detail

I was disappointed about the lack of audiobooks on the Anglo-Boer wars until this one came out...it's fantastic for those searching for this topic and history.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Interesting and engaging view of the War

An interesting and engaging account of the War written from the differing personal accounts by notable participants in the Boer war. This makes it easy to follow and understand the politics around the war. The accounts of how things transpired in Europe and the Netherlands in particular are refreshing.

However I have two complaints. For a South African it is hard to follow at times due to the Dutch instead of Afrikaans pronounciations of names and places. The insistent and unnecessary use of racial terms, common in its day but deeply offensive today, is jarring. Other than that it is very good.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great detail on a very little know war.

good book, great detail from multiple view points, leant a great deal of European politics of the period, would love to read more about 19th century European and Afican history after listening to this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Informative

Much of the internal behind the scenes historical information is interesting but much of the battlefield story is missing.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A worthwhile read, but a very disappointing narrator

This is a very interesting perspective on a brutal period in Southern African history. The narrative is shaped around three participants in this historical saga - a Dutch lawyer, an English journalist (Winston Churchill), and a Boer commando.

For anyone with any insight into the proper pronunciation of people’s names and place names, it is extremely frustrating. I almost stopped listening at a few points. I find it hard to believe that the publishers did not review the narration to ascertain how well the book was being read. Not only are names and places miss-pronounced 90% of the time, the mispronunciations keep changing!

Regardless, it is worth reading.

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The Boer War

Terrible pronunciation of place names and an epilogue laced with racism against the Boer and apparently complete absolution of the British who laid the foundations for apartheid in this fine nation!

2 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Conor
  • 10-09-18

Well Structured and Well Read

Great book all round. Would recommend to anyone. All the different parts come together nicely.

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  • R N BLAIR
  • 06-30-18

The Boer War,

The book is undoubtedly an authentic account of The Boer War. It is nevertheless marred by the narrators inability to pronounce many of the names and places correctly. For example the Union Castle liner
Dunnotter Castle is pronounced as spelled. It is not the Dooneter Castle. Similarly Smuts is Smuts, not Smoots or Smoets. The Toogela River, as pronounced by Langton,is normally known as the Tugela with the stress on the penultimate syllable.
There are many other example of poor knowledge in pronouncing names and places although it must be said that knowledge of the Dutch and Afrikaans names was generally up to the mark. Such a pity as this audio version did not serve the book well.
Finally. No such place as Lourenco Markeesh or Lourenco Marceish or even Lourenco Mar-qiche has ever existed - either in Portuguese or English.
Neil Blair.

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  • Graham
  • 04-11-18

Bad Pronouncition of South African characters

What did you like best about The Boer War? What did you like least?


What was one of the most memorable moments of The Boer War?

My great grandparents were in the british army in South Africa . The one at Rorke's drift and the other Boer War ( ?) Not proud of this aspect of my ancestors.The treatment of the Boers by the British was horrific. Kitchener was a disgrace. Biggest casualties Boer children............. ten of thousands , then Women and finally Boer soldiers. Burning of their farms, not feeding prisoners on occasions, concentration camps for women run by men...thank .heavens for Mary Hobhouse.

Did James Langton do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

I think James should have done more homework on the pronunciation of South African Towns and names.e.g. Pronunciation of Smuts as in rude (smut) versus as in kissing ( smooch). Maybe I am bias and I would hate James to hear my pronunciation certain English words!

Did The Boer War inspire you to do anything?

follow the careers of certain characters post the Boer War. Smuts, Churchill and Kitchener in particular.

Any additional comments?

was it true that Kruger decreed that any Boer who killed Buller would be had up for treason?

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-18-18

Poor pronunciation of names and places spoiled the book.

Surely before narrating a book, pronouncing the names and places should be ensured? Unfortunately the pronunciation in this book was so bad, I felt embarrassed.