`A remarkable feat of scholarship, fairness and readability, full of lively detail with a freshness of style which brings new life to the narrative' Anthony Sampson
Throughout its turbulent history, South Africa has frequently been the focus of worldwide attention - usually hostile. Yet prejudice and ignorance about the country are widespread. The evolution of the present-day `Rainbow Nation' has taken place under conditions of sometimes extreme pressure. Since long before the arrival of the first European settlers in the seventeenth century, the country has been home to a complex and uneasily co-existing blend of races and cultures, and successive waves of immigrants have added to the already volatile mixture.
Despite the euphoria which greeted the dismantling of the apartheid system and the election as President of Nelson Mandela in April 1994, South Africa's history, racial mix and recent political upheavals suggest it will not easily free itself from the legacy of its tumultuous past. Newly revised and updated, Frank Welsh's vividly written, even-handed and authoritative history casts new light on many of South Africa's most cherished myths. Like his A History of Hong Kong, it will surely come to be regarded as definitive.
`A masterly synthesis of past and present scholarship historical storytelling in the grand narrative tradition'
Mail & Guardian
`Sweeping, exhaustive and masterly'
Scotland on Sunday
`Excellent... a balanced account of a very complex story'
Stephen Fleming, Irish Independent
`Vital to an understanding of modern South Africa'
`His assessments are judicious, his opinions fair. Welsh maintains a clear narrative thread through this hugely complex story'
Stephen Taylor, New York Times Book Review
Frank Welsh read History at Cambridge, then worked in banking and industry, including service on the boards of nationalised industries and on the Royal Commission into the NHS. His books include The Profit of the State, Uneasy City and The Companion Guide to the Lake District.