THE ZULU WAR by Rupert Furneaux


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If there were a contest held for the most unprovoked and unnecessary war in history, this one would be a likely candidate. And few students of history can doubt the injustice of the crushing blow which England, through the agency of her single-purposed High Commissioner, Sir Bartle Frere, dealt in 1879 to this proud people who had never lifted a hand against her. The Zulu war also upset the balance of power in South Africa, made the British-Boer conflict inevitable, and permanently altered the whole course of South African history. Yet, while it was just a tidy little campaign by 20th century standards, the Zulu War began with two actions (at Isandhlwana and Rorke's Drift) which belong to the annals of all-time great battles: the first was the British ""Custer's Last Stand"", so to speak, and the second ranks with Thermopylae and the Alamo for unswerving valor against overwhelming odds. Mr. Furneaux has produced a tidy little book about the whole campaign, and it has clarity and considerable vividness as well as brevity to recommend it. Perhaps the most interesting sections, apart from the descriptions of the above-mentioned battles, are those devoted to background on the Zulus as people, their way of life, and their remarkable army; certainly one might wish that even more of such material had been included.

Pub Date: Jan. 28th, 1962
Publisher: Lippincott