|About the Book|
An intriguing look at three of the main characters behind the forming of modern southern Africa. Paul Kruger, a Dutch Boer farmer, seeks to maintain his world and the culture that he and other Boers have established in South Africa. Cecil Rhodes (for whom Rhodesia was named and Rhodes scholarships) seeks to build the British Empire from Egypt to the Cape of Good Hope. Lobengula and other native Africans war with each other and the Dutch, British, Germans, and other Europeans who are taking away their empires that they might build their own.Cloete does a masterful job of both presenting all three of these men in their culture and time without judgment yet at the same time subtly communicating timeless moral, at times spiritual evaluations of all three. Each worldview is allowed to stand on its own, clash with the others, and be presented so that the reader may judge for himself the quality or lack found in how and why each leader did as he did.Written just shortly after the end of WWII, Stuart Cloete also ties together strands of Kruger and Rhodes experiences and choices and how they played out in what had become the British Commonwealth, setting the stage for a sequel that could track the next generation of influencers.For those who enjoy history, Cloete shows the audacity, brutality, simplicity, heroism, and loneliness that comes with leadership and that which makes history. His writing style is entertaining, factual, honest, yet veiled so that one can comprehend the harshness of what is being discussed without feeling raw and violated after reading it.