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New York Times
'Roberts grips the reader's attention immediately . . . The breadth and vividness of his narrative, his robust prose and his mastery of difficult research combine to make his book a literary achievement as well as a fascinating historical reconstruction.'
The Zulu kings established the most powerful black dynasty Africa has ever known. The mighty Shaka, who founded the dynasty in the early nineteenth century, welded the Zulu nation into a formidable military unit. Known as the 'Black Napoleon', this first Zulu King was a ruthless, yet inspired, leader. Triumphant and merciless in battle, he led his people to greatness and ruled them with iron-handed discipline. His assassination by his treacherous half-brother, Dingane, did nothing to lessen the rule of terror. But the self-indulgent Dingane, although cruel and despotic, was no warrior and his reign ended in disaster. Defeated by the Boers at the battle of Blood River, Dingane was eventually forced to flee Zululand and died in exile.
After Dingane's death the neighbouring territory of Natal became a white settlement and the course of Zulu history changed. A third brother, Mpande, was proclaimed King by the Boers and reigned more or less peacefully. Mpande was followed by his son Cetshwayo whose attempt to revive Zulu power brought him into conflict with the British and resulted in the downfall of his nation in the Zulu War of 1879. Cetshwayo's son, Dinuzulu, inherited little more than his father's misfortunes.
Brian Roberts tells the story of the rise and fall of the Zulu dynasty in colourful detail. But it is the first two Kings—the resolute Shaka and the fickle Dingane—who dominate the book. Ruling when Zululand was independent and all-powerful, their tyrannical regimes transformed the tribal pattern in southern Africa. Shaka's wars devastated the surrounding territories and were responsible for the deaths of some two million Africans. Dingane fought fewer wars but, by aping Shaka's methods, was every bit as fearsome.
The Kings are seen largely through the eyes of the extraordinary collection of white men who visited their kraals. How far the intrigues of these white adventurers influenced the fate of the Zulu Kings has never before been revealed. Until now their activities have been regarded as relatively innocent. By drawing on significant, unpublished material, Brian Roberts shows this to be far from the truth. Zulu history is thus presented in a completely new light.
This is a saga of the Zulu empire at its height—its bizarre customs, its bloodthirsty battles, its colourful rituals and, above all, its larger-than-life personalities.
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Brian Roberts, a distinguished historian and biographer, is an acknowledged expert on African history. His books include The Zulu Kings, The Diamond Magnates, Churchills in Africa, and Cecil Rhodes and the Princess.
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Book Description Hamish Hamilton Ltd, 1974. "This is an ex-library book and may have the usual library/used-book markings inside.This book has hardback covers. In poor condition, suitable as a reading copy. Dust Jacket in fair condition. ". Seller Inventory # 6495364
Book Description Hamish Hamilton Ltd 1974-09-12, 1974. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Spine of jacket has faded and some minor shelf wear. Content is fine. Book. Seller Inventory # 091135-13
Book Description HAMISH HAMILTON, LONDON, ENGLAND, 1974. HARDCOVER. Condition: VG. Dust Jacket Condition: VG. FIRST EDITION. closed tear to a p/c dj. Seller Inventory # 005960
Book Description Hamilton, London, 1974. Cloth, d.j. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 0241890438 D.j. has light edge wear. xii, 388 pages. U.S. orders are shipped from our Lewiston, New York location. Seller Inventory # 014309
Book Description Hamilton, 1974. Condition: Very Good. Good condition book with like DJ. Boards are clean with minor bumping to corners and spine ends. Content clean with a solid binding. Good DJ with minor edge wear and heavy fading. Seller Inventory # 9999-9996210522
Book Description Hamilton, 1974. Hardcover. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG0241890438
Book Description Hamilton, 1974. Condition: Good. Good+ condition book with dust jacket. DJ is clean, has fresh colours but slightly sunned at spine with faded titles. Book has clean and bright contents with owner name to front endpaper. Seller Inventory # 9999-9994054252
Book Description Hamilton, Adams/Thomas D. Morison, 1974. Hard Cover. Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Dj somewhat sunned at spine. A clean and bright copy in a mylar (Brodart) sleeve. Careful packing and fast, efficient shipping including delivery confirmation. Seller Inventory # 29260
Book Description Hamilton, 1974. Hardcover. Condition: Poor. Dust Jacket Condition: Fair. 1st Edition. Ex-library. Very marked and worn. Poor. Seller Inventory # sy74
Book Description Hamish Hamilton, 1974. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. The jacket is slightly shelf rubbed and marked.Insect damage on the edge of a few pages.Well bound.[R.K]. Seller Inventory # jk49