Last Defenders Of The Laager

Overview

When the Afrikaners (Boers) migrated northward from the Cape to escape British rule, they enountered the Zulu people. To protect their claims, the Boers formed the laager, a circle of wagons. As years passed, the laager acquired wider political dimensions and became a symbol of Afrikaner determination to survive under hostile conditions. Ian D. Smith, last colonial leader of Zimbabwe from 1964 to 1979, and F. W. de Klerk, the last white president of South Africa from 1988 to 1994, were the last defenders of the ...

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Overview

When the Afrikaners (Boers) migrated northward from the Cape to escape British rule, they enountered the Zulu people. To protect their claims, the Boers formed the laager, a circle of wagons. As years passed, the laager acquired wider political dimensions and became a symbol of Afrikaner determination to survive under hostile conditions. Ian D. Smith, last colonial leader of Zimbabwe from 1964 to 1979, and F. W. de Klerk, the last white president of South Africa from 1988 to 1994, were the last defenders of the laager on the African continent. Rising nationalism and the devastation of civil war would eventually force these leaders to abandon the colonial systems that they had inherited from their predecessors.

The study details the origins and development of the laager system in Africa. It discusses how and why previously successful tactics to maintain the system would fail amidst the rising African nationalism of the late 20th century. The focus of each of the eight chapters alternates between Smith and de Klerk and examines the efforts of each to overcome unanticipated challenges.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Discusses the policies and careers of Smith and de Klerk, respectively the last white colonial leaders of Zimbabwe and South Africa. Placing each leader in the historical context of colonial rule of their respective nations, Mungazi (history, Northern Arizona U.) explains how each attempted to sustain an outdated system of white rule but eventually capitulated to the demand for change, in both cases avoiding a major violent overthrow of their governments. Also discusses the challenges posed by transition to African rule in both nations. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275960308
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/30/1998
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

DICKSON A. MUNGAZI is Regent's Professor of History at the Center for Excellence in Education at Northern Arizona University.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations
Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Beginnings of the Laager: F. W. de Klerk in the Context of Political Leadership in South Africa 25
2 Origins of the Laager: Ian D. Smith in the Context of Political Leadership in Colonial Zimbabwe 53
3 Cracks in the Laager: The Fall of Pieter W. Botha and the Rise of F. W. de Klerk 79
4 Chasms in the Laager: The Fall of Edgar Whitehead and the Rise of Ian D. Smith 107
5 F. W. de Klerk: The Man and His Mission 135
6 Ian D. Smith, the RF Policy, and Conflict from Efforts to Defend the Laager 159
7 F. W. de Klerk and the ANC: A Meeting of the Minds 183
8 De Klerk and Smith as the Last Defenders of the Laager: Summary, Conclusion, and Implications 213
Selected Bibliography 241
Index 259
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