WW1 and the People of South Africa

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The fledgling Union of South Africa might have been far removed from the theatre of war, but it too was drawn into one of the bloodiest conflicts of the 20th century - World War I.
Renowned historian Bill Nasson investigates how the war's complex dynamics shaped the course of South African politics and society and how it impacted on the lives of both civilians and soldiers. He deals with all the major moments of the war (the invasion of German Southwest Africa, the Afrikaner Rebellion, Delville Wood, SS Mendi), but instead of a conventional military history, he presents a gripping narrative filled with anecdotes that paint a vivid picture of the time.
Nasson's history of the war differs from others in two important ways. Firstly, instead of treating it as a four-year episode, he sees it as a part of a longer period of disturbance and upheaval which started before 1914 and ended after 1918.
Secondly, he views the conflict in global terms and compares the national experience in South Africa with what happened in other countries. This for example allows him to draw parallels between the 1914 Afrikaner rebellion and the Irish republican Easter rising of 1916.
Publication date: 2014-11-01

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