The Cambridge History of South Africa, Volume 1: From Early Times to 1885

Overview

Reflecting on South Africa's achievement of majority rule, this book takes a critical and searching look at the country’s past. It presents South Africa’s past in an objective, clear, and refreshing manner. With chapters contributed by ten of the best historians of the country, the book elaborately weaves together new data, interpretations, and perspectives on the South African past, from the Early Iron Age to the eve of the mineral revolution on the Rand. Its findings incorporate new sources, methods, and ...

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Overview

Reflecting on South Africa's achievement of majority rule, this book takes a critical and searching look at the country’s past. It presents South Africa’s past in an objective, clear, and refreshing manner. With chapters contributed by ten of the best historians of the country, the book elaborately weaves together new data, interpretations, and perspectives on the South African past, from the Early Iron Age to the eve of the mineral revolution on the Rand. Its findings incorporate new sources, methods, and concepts, for example providing new data on the relations between Africans and colonial invaders and rethinking crucial issues of identity and consciousness. This book represents an important reassessment of all the major historical events, developments, and records of South Africa – written, oral, and archaeological – and will be an important new tool for students and professors of African history worldwide.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Erudite essays by ten top historians of South Africa both summarize the state-of-the art historiography of the country and chart new pathways.... Strongest on political and social history, but with keen insights into intellectual life... this splendid volume supersedes analogous earlier Oxbridge syntheses of the country and will long remain a scholarly landmark.... Essential." - Choice
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521517942
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2009
  • Series: Cambridge History of South Africa Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 472
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Carolyn Hamilton obtained her Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University in 1993. Formerly Director of South Africa's first Graduate School for the Humanities at the University of the Witwatersrand, she led the Constitution of Public Intellectual Life project at Wits and is now NRF Research Professor in Archives and Public Culture, University of Cape Town. An authority on South Africa's precolonial history, she is internationally recognized for her book, Terrific Majesty, the Powers of Shaka Zulu and the Limits of Historical Invention (1998), and for her work interrogating the concept of the archive and elucidating its political effects.

Bernard K. Mbenga holds his doctorate in history from the University of South Africa and, since 1987, has been a lecturer at the Mafikeng Campus of North-West University in South Africa (formerly the University of Bophuthatswana in Mmabatho). He has published papers in the South African Historical Journal, Teaching History, and the Journal of Southern African Studies. Professor Mbenga is the co-editor and co-author (with Hermann Giliomee) of the highly acclaimed New History of South Africa (2007).

Robert Ross received a Ph.D. from Cambridge in 1974 and has worked since then at Leiden University, The Netherlands. He has written seven books, including A Concise History of South Africa and Status and Respectability in the Cape Colony: A Tragedy of Manners, both published by Cambridge University Press in 1999.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Robert Ross, Carolyn Hamilton and Bernard Mbenga; 1. Food production in Southern Africa 1000 to 2000 years ago John Parkington and Simon Hall; 2. Farming communities of the second millennium: internal frontiers, identity, continuity and change Simon Hall; 3. Khoesan and immigrants: the emergence of colonial society in the Cape, 1500–1800 Robert Ross; 4. Turbulent times: political transformations in the North and East, 1760s–1830s John Wright; 5. From slave economy to settler capitalism: the Cape colony and its extensions, 1800–1854 Martin Legassick and Robert Ross; 6. From colonial hegemonies to imperial conquest, 1840–1880 Patrick Harries, Norman Etherington and Bernard Mbenga; 7. Transformations in consciousness Paul Landau.

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