n Historia - Impressive, balanced account of the South African War
The War for South Africa : The Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902, B. Nasson : book review

Volume 56, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0018-229X



The centenary of the South African War of 1899-1902 (still more widely known as the Anglo-Boer War in South Africa) stimulated a spate of publications amongst which Bill Nasson's general overview of that war (1999) was especially useful. Now, a decade later, he has revised and extensively re-written his account to include the recent literature and preoccupations of historians, and he also contributes a new, original title (of which Milner would have approved!) to the unresolved issue of what to call this war. To this new book he also brings a certain present-mindedness, finding "plenty of comparative historical resonance" not only with the American Civil War but also with more recent conflicts in the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan. Thomas Pakenham's best-selling account (1979) of this war now seems rather dated, in more ways than its title, although for detailed coverage of the military history it has yet to be surpassed.

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