The Boer War: Historiography and Annotated Bibliography

The Boer War: Historiography and Annotated Bibliography

The Boer War: Historiography and Annotated Bibliography

The Boer War: Historiography and Annotated Bibliography

Synopsis

One hundred years after the Boer War, the British continue to debate what went wrong, while the war has significant nationalist overtones in today's South Africa. This book examines changes in interpretations of the war and provides a bibliography of major sources on the Boer War, now sometimes called the South African War. The bibliography focuses on the military history, but also includes some historical accounts of the political debate. The first part of the book provides an extended historiographical essay, while part two provides an annotated bibliography of the titles discussed in part one.

Excerpt

The centennial of the Boer War provides an impetus to assess the current state of historical interpretation concerning that conflict. In South Africa the war has significant nationalist overtones, while for the British, despite ultimate victory, it still engenders debate about what went wrong. Heroes and villains have been passionately attacked and defended on each side. It remains common for South African authors to label the 1899-1902 conflict the second war for freedom. The first was, of course, the brief passage of arms in 1881 when a small British Army force was humiliated at Majuba Hill and London chose to make peace. It is the purpose of this book to examine changes in interpretations and to provide an annotated listing of the major sources for the study of the Boer, or now more commonly, South African War. (Researchers should note that indexers and catalogers often make different lists under these two names and fail to crossreference them.)

This book has two sections. First, in chapters one through five, there is a discussion of historiography in which the changing ideas about the war are examined and at least the more significant works in which the changes are expressed acknowledged. These works are cited by giving their numbers (in square brackets) from the annotated bibliography-the second section of the book. In the bibliography, the intention is to give the original publication data for each work. Subsequent editions and reprints, when identified, are noted by date, following the original copyright. Concurrent publications- English, American, South African editions for instance-though they may vary slightly in date, have not been indicated.

Some limits on content were necessary. As part of Greenwood Press's Battles and Leaders Series, the book focuses especially on military history. The available space prevented the inclusion of works concerning the political debates over the virtues of the war. To include the international outpouring of comment threatened to more than double the number of sources listed. Such debates do . . .

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