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South Africa: History in an Hour

Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
Length: 1 hr and 20 mins
Categories: History, World
5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

Non-member price: $2.98

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Publisher's Summary

With the passing of Nelson Mandela, ‘the father of the nation’, comes the end of an era, and the moment to look back on his remarkable saving, and remaking, of South Africa.

After years of oppression and racial inequality, concentrated violence and apartheid, Mandela led the country to unite ‘for the freedom of us all’ as the country’s first black President.

South Africa: History in an Hour gives a lively account of the formation of modern South Africa, from the first contact with seventeenth-century European sailors, through the colonial era, the Boer Wars, apartheid and the establishment of a tolerant democracy in the late twentieth century. Here is a clear and fascinating overview of the emergence of the ‘Rainbow Nation’.

Know your stuff: read about South African history in just one hour.

©2012 Anthony Holmes (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"If the past is a foreign country, History in an Hour is like a high-class tour operator, offering delightfully enjoyable short breaks in the rich and diverse continent of our shared past." (Dominic Sandbrook)
"The practice of History is ever-evolving, and the History In An Hour idea brings it back up to date for the digital age." (Andrew Roberts, Bookseller)
"This is genius." (MacWorld.com)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting and engaging short history

Short and concise history of South Africa. Only criticism is the narrator pronounced a few words incorrectly.

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  • Me & My Girls
  • 24-01-2015

Learning A Little More

I became aware of South Africa at a young age. South Africa had refused to allow Arthur Ashe to enter the country to compete in a tennis match. I was an ardent sports fan and much of my knowledge and awareness of the world came in the context of sports. In that vein the banning of the Republic of South Africa from the Olympics gave me more information about apartheid. Finally I read James Michener's book on South Africa, which put the events of the time into more context. This short look at the country's history gave needed information for many people who knew only the headlines of the last thirty years.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve Adams
  • 29-12-2016

Nice overview of South African history

I thought the book does a very good job of highlighting the important points for American readers of a complex history of South Africa.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-05-2018

And They All Lived Happily Ever After (Yeah Right)

PC drivel. Nothing but negative consequences from Dutch and British settlement, and everything is sunshine and buttercup since the ANC took over. Oh wait, the history lesson stopped as soon as they got elected, because it took no time at all for the ANC to become corrupted with power and just as murderous as the worst of any despotic rulers in the world's history. South Africa is a wreck of a nation now and getting worse every day.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-07-2019

Don't bother!

The story was adequate and relatively informative. I found the pronunciation of the various South African names abysmal, to the point of being insulting. Surely a person with a modicum of knowledge of SA pronunciation could have been found to read the text.

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  • William
  • 04-09-2018

Concise

A concise history of South Africa, which is reasonably well balanced. Pretty good for one hour. Unfortunately the names and places are not pronounced correctly.

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  • A S N
  • 14-12-2017

Helps in acquainting you with the Origins and struggle of South Africa.

The book makes you familiar with the important events in South African History from the mid seventeenth century onwards. However, I think it covered the recent (or post world war 2) history is more details than it covered the first half of its existence. For example the Boer wars seem to be underplayed.
On the whole a helpful book to get acquainted to the history of South Africa.

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  • grandma
  • 24-09-2017

Informative brief history of South Africa

Perfect for us before we begin a trip to South Africa. Would recommend to others in our situation.

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  • Stephanie
  • 27-12-2016

SA history for dummies

This is a good synopsis of the history of South Africa, its people, and governments. The reader goes really fast and I needed to pause frequently to look up places and Google people .

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  • stuart
  • 05-12-2016

Aappalling r onouncia tion .

As a South African I found it extremely difficult to follow because of the totally incorrect pronunciation of the South African names and phrases. so insensitive. Surely a recording of this calibre demands preparation. shocking!.

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  • David V. Gallegos
  • 29-11-2016

Perfect length for a quick summary of South Africa

Quick and concise history of South Africa's modern history (from 1850-1995). This was perfect for a family heading over for a vacation.

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  • Sean
  • 02-04-2019

Good summary pity about pronunciation

Real shame they couldn’t get a presenter who can actually pronounce some of our most important SA figures names and surnames correctly.
Good summary however.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-07-2019

Do NOT believe the information in this book.

I am a South African, and an experienced Tourist Guide here in South Africa. I consider myself well-versed in the history of this country, and find this book an insult to anyone who has even the slightest interest in this topic, it's just all wrong! I could not listen to even one complete chapter, as there is just so much incorrect information, unbelievable!! It's disgraceful that the author is getting away with spreading so much nonsense. Examples: Nelson Mandela's middle name?!?!....Who did the Voortrekkers have so many with?...the xhosa?!?!...it goes on and on. This was just the beginning of chapter 1, I could not continue. The author should research his facts before spewing so much garbage!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Philip
  • 20-07-2019

very good

well read, consise and very intresting history of South Africa very good x x x

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  • denbydale1
  • 14-09-2017

facts wrong

Netherlands king never sought refuge in UK, so how did change south Africa from Dutch to English?
malaria in Kalahari?
6 atomic bombs developed in south Africa?

2 of 5 people found this review helpful