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This acclaimed book by Steven Pinker argues that, contrary to popular belief, humankind has become progressively less violent over millenia and decades. Can violence really have declined?
The images of conflict we see daily on our screens from around the world suggest this is an almost obscene claim to be making. Extraordinarily, however, Steven Pinker shows violence within and between societies - both murder and warfare - really has declined from prehistory to today. We are much less likely to die at someone else's hands than ever before. Even the horrific carnage of the last century, when compared to the dangers of pre-state societies, is part of this trend.
Debunking both the idea of the 'noble savage' and an over-simplistic Hobbesian notion of a 'nasty, brutish and short' life, Steven Pinker argues that modernity and its cultural institutions are actually making us better people.
In the first half of the nineteenth century, Southern Africa was a jumble of British colonies, Boer republics and African chiefdoms, a troublesome region of little interest to the outside world. Into this frontier world came the Reitz family, Afrikaner gentry from the Cape, who settled in Bloemfontein and played a key role in the building of the Orange Free State.
Frank Reitz, successively chief justice and modernising president of the young republic, went on to serve as State Secretary of the Transvaal Republic. In 1899, he stood shoulder to shoulder with President Paul Kruger to resist Britain’s war of conquest in Southern Africa. At the heart of this tale is the extraordinary life of Deneys Reitz, third son of Frank Reitz and Bianca Thesen. The young Reitz’s account of his adventures in the field during the Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902), published as Commando, became a classic of irregular warfare. After a period of exile in Madagascar, he went on become one of South Africa’s most distinguished lawyers, statesmen and soldiers. Martin Meredith interweaves Reitz’s experiences, taken from his unpublished notebooks, with the wider story of Britain’s brutal suppression of Boer resistance.
Concise and readable, Afrikaner Odyssey is a wide-ranging portrait of an aristocratic Afrikaner family whose achievements run like fine thread through these turbulent times, and whose presence is still marked on the South African landscape.
Die Nederlandse historikus, Martin Bossenbroek, het in 2013 die Nasionale Nederlandse Geskiedenis-prys gewen vir sy nuwe kroniek oor die oorlog wat Suid-Afrika gevorm het, en die boek is ook in 2013 op die kortlys vir die AKO Letterkunde-prys geplaas. Beide hierdie toekennings is vername Nederlandse letterkundige pryse. Hierdie Afrikaanse hardeband, wat in 2015 as 'n Engelse en 'n Afrikaanse sagteband uitgegee gaan word, sal die lof en byval bevestig wat Bossenbroek reeds ontvang het, en aan Suid-Afrikaanse lesers die geleentheid bied om sy unieke storieverteltegniek te ervaar. Die Anglo-Boereoorlog (1899-1902) is al verskeie dinge genoem: die oorsaak van apartheid, die voorganger van die Eerste en Tweede Wereldoorloe, en die eerste media-oorlog (waar joernaliste vir die eerste keer by 'n oorlog ingebed was). Dit het gehelp om die nasiestaat van Suid-Afrika te skep en meer as 'n honderd jaar nadat die oorlog geeindig het, lei dit steeds tot vurige debatte. In Die Boereoorlog bied Martin Bossenbroek vir die eerste keer aan lesers die volledige storie met ongeewenaarde insig en detail. Bossenbroek volg drie kleurvolle hoofkarakters: die Nederlandse prokureur, staatsprokureur van die Suid-Afrikaanse Republiek, staatsekretaris en uiteindelike Europese gesant Willem Leyds; die Britse oorlogsjoernalis Winston Churchill, en die Boerekryger en toekomstige Suid-Afrikaanse politikus, Deneys Reitz. Bossenbroek se fassinerende nuwe blik op die oorlog troef Thomas Pakenham se klassieke topverkoper, en is 'n moet-lees vir alle Suid-Afrikaanse geskiedenis-entoesiaste.
Posterity has not been kind to Douglas Haig, the commander of the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front for much of the First World War. Haig has frequently been presented as a commander who sent his troops to slaughter in vast numbers at the Somme in 1916 and at Passchendaele the following year. The Good Soldier re-examines Haig's record in these battles and presents his predicament with a fresh eye. More importantly, it re-evaluates Haig himself, exploring the nature of the man, turning to both his early life and army career before 1914, as well as his unstinting work on behalf of ex-servicemen's organizations after 1918. Finally, in this definitive biography, the man emerges from the myth.
This is the story of a Kavango tracker who served for six years with Koevoet ('Crowbar'), the elite South African Police anti-terrorist unit, during the South West African -Angolan bush war of the '80s. Most white team leaders lasted only two years; the black trackers walked the track for years. Sisingi Kamongo tells the story of the 50 or so firefighters he was involved in; he survived five anti-personnel mine and POMZ explosions and an RPG rocket on his Casspir APC vehicle; he was wounded three times; he tells of the trackers looking for shadows on the ground, facing ambush and AP mines at every turn; he tells of the art of tracking...where dust can tell time. Kamongo's story is supported by two accounts from renowned Koevoet team leaders, Herman Grobler and Francois du Toit- a powerful collection of experiences from South Africa's most successful counter-insurgency unit. The first-ever account of the bush war by a non-white member of the South African security forces. A unique, previously untold perspective of the bush war, by an on-the-ground tracker. A powerful, harrowing read; the tension is palpable.
Parcel of Death recounts the little-told life story of Onkgopotse Abram Tiro, the first South African freedom fighter the apartheid regime pursued beyond the country’s borders to assassinate with a parcel bomb.
On 29 April 1972, Tiro made one of the most consequential revolutionary addresses in South African history. Dubbed the Turfloop Testimony, Tiro’s anti-apartheid speech saw him and many of his fellow student activists expelled, igniting a series of strikes in tertiary institutions across the country. By the time he went into exile in Botswana, Tiro was president of the Southern African Student Movement (SASM), permanent organiser of the South African Student Organisation (SASO) and a leading Black Consciousness proponent, hailed by many as the ‘godfather’ of the June 1976 uprisings.
Parcel of Death uses extensive and exclusive interviews to highlight significant influences and periods in Tiro’s life, including the lessons learned from his rural upbringing in Dinokana, Zeerust, the time he spent working on a manganese mine, his role as a teacher and the impact of his faith in shaping his outlook. It is a compelling portrait of Tiro’s story and its lasting significance in South Africa’s history.
‘A biography of Onkgopotse Tiro, who was at once a catalyst and an active change agent in the South African struggle for freedom, is long overdue. For generations to come, this book will be a source of valuable information and inspiration.’ – MOSIBUDI MANGENA
A younger generation of South Africans are developing important and innovative ways of understanding South Africa’s past, challenging narratives that have, over the last decades, been informed by notions of forgiveness and reconciliation. Carli Coetzee uses the image of history-rich blood to explore these approaches to intergenerational memory. In this book, she revisits older archives and analyses contemporary South African cultural and literary forms.
The emphasis on blood challenges the privileged status skin has had as an explanatory category in thinking about identity. Instead, Coetzee emphasises intergenerational transfer and continuity. She argues that a younger generation is contesting the terms through which to understand contemporary South Africa and interpreting the legacies of the past that remain under the visible layer of skin.
The chapters each concern blood: Mandela’s prison cell as laboratory for producing bloodless freedom, the kinship relations created and resisted in accounts of Eugene de Kock in prison, Ruth First’s concern with information leaks in her accounts of her time in prison, the first human-to-human heart transplant and its relation to racialised attempts to salvage white identity, the #Fallist moment, the Abantu Book Festival, and activist scholarship and creative art works that use blood as a trope for thinking about change and continuity.
Die eiesoortige vriendskap tussen Winston Churchill en Jan Smuts is ’n studie in kontraste. In hul jeug het hulle uiteenlopende wêrelde bewoon: Churchill was die weerbarstige en energieke jong aristokraat; Smuts die asketiese, filosofiese Kaapse plaasseun, wat later aan Cambridge sou gaan studeer. Daar sou hy die eerste student word wat albei dele van die finale regskursus in dieselfde jaar neem en al twee met onderskeiding slaag.
Nadat hulle in die Anglo-Boereoorlog eers as vyande, en later in die Eerste Wêreldoorlog as bondgenote byeengebring is, het die mans ’n vriendskap gesmee wat oor die eerste helfte van die twintigste eeu gestrek het en tot Smuts se dood in 1950 voortgeduur het. Richard Steyn, die skrywer van Jan Smuts: Afrikaner sonder grense, bestudeer dié hegte vriendskap deur twee wêreldoorloë aan die hand van ’n magdom argiefstukke, briewe, telegramme en die omvangryke boeke wat oor albei mans geskryf is.
Dit is ’n fassinerende verhaal oor twee besonderse individue in oorlog en vrede – die een die leier van ’n groot ryk, die ander die leier van ’n klein, weerspannige lid van daardie ryk.
A quest is never what you expect it to be.
Elizabeth Madeline Martin spends her days in a retirement home in Cape Town, watching the pigeons and squirrels on the branch of a tree outside her window. Bedridden, her memory fading, she can recall her early childhood spent in a small wood-and-iron house in Blackridge on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg. Though she remembers the place in detail – dogs, a mango tree, a stream – she has no idea of where exactly it is. ‘My memory is full of blotches,’ she tells her daughter Julia, ‘like ink left about and knocked over.’
Julia resolves to find the Blackridge house: with her mother lonely and confused, would this, perhaps, bring some measure of closure? A journey begins that traverses family history, forgotten documents, old photographs, and the maps that stake out a country’s troubled past – maps whose boundaries nature remains determined to resist. Kind strangers, willing to assist in the search, lead to unexpected discoveries of ancestors and wars and lullabies. Folded into this quest are the tender conversations between a daughter and a mother who does not have long to live.
Taken as one, The Blackridge House is a meditation on belonging, of the stories we tell of home and family, of the precarious footprint of life.
Vyftig jaar gelede, om drie minute oor tien op 29 September 1969, is die Noord-Boland getref deur ’n aardbewing van 6.3 op die Richterskaal.
Die middelpunt van die aardbewing was net buite Tulbagh, tuiste van sommige van die oudste kerke, Kaaps-Hollandse huise en wynplase in Suid-Afrika. Tien van die elf mense (meestal kinders) wat in die skudding gesterf het, is in en om die dorpie dood.
In hierdie boek – wat met die vyftigjarige herdenking van die aardbewing saamval – verwesenlik Rosette Jordaan, ’n boorling van Tulbagh, ’n lewensideaal om dié geskiedenis op te teken voordat dit uit die menseheugenis verdwyn. Die resultaat is ’n skatkis van verhale en vertellinge – aangrypend, amusant, onvergeetlik
SABR 50 at 50 celebrates and highlights the Society for American Baseball Research's wide-ranging contributions to baseball history. Established in 1971 in Cooperstown, New York, SABR has sought to foster and disseminate the research of baseball-with groundbreaking work from statisticians, historians, and independent researchers-and has published dozens of articles with far-reaching and long-lasting impact on the game. Among its current membership are many Major and Minor League Baseball officials, broadcasters, and writers as well as numerous former players. The diversity of SABR members' interests is reflected in this fiftieth-anniversary volume-from baseball and the arts to statistical analysis to the Deadball Era to women in baseball. SABR 50 at 50 includes the most important and influential research published by members across a multitude of topics, including the sabermetric work of Dick Cramer, Pete Palmer, and Bill James, along with Jerry Malloy on the Negro Leagues, Keith Olbermann on why the shortstop position is number 6, John Thorn and Jules Tygiel on the untold story behind Jackie Robinson's signing with the Dodgers, and Gai Berlage on the Colorado Silver Bullets women's team in the 1990s. To provide history and context, each notable research article is accompanied by a short introduction. As SABR celebrates fifty years this collection gathers the organization's most notable research and baseball history for the serious baseball reader.
The incredible story of the greatest female spy in history, from one of Britain's most acclaimed historians - available for pre-order now In a quiet English village in 1942, an elegant housewife emerged from her cottage to go on her usual bike ride. A devoted wife and mother-of-three, the woman known to her neighbours as Mrs Burton seemed to epitomise rural British domesticity. However, rather than pedalling towards the shops with her ration book, she was racing through the Oxfordshire countryside to gather scientific intelligence from one of the country's most brilliant nuclear physicists. Secrets that she would transmit to Soviet intelligence headquarters via the radio transmitter she was hiding in her outdoor privy. Far from a British housewife, 'Mrs Burton' - born Ursula Kuczynski, and codenamed 'Sonya' - was a German Jew, a dedicated communist, a colonel in Russia's Red Army, and a highly-trained spy. From planning an assassination attempt on Hitler in Switzerland, to spying on the Japanese in Manchuria, and helping the Soviet Union build the atom bomb, Sonya conducted some of the most dangerous espionage operations of the twentieth century. Her story has never been told - until now. Agent Sonya is the exhilarating account of one woman's life; a life that encompasses the rise and fall of communism itself, and altered the course of history. 'Macintyre does true-life espionage better than anyone else' John Preston
'What guts. What attitude! These are the immortals I wish I'd learned about at school.' - Olivia Colman Channel the feminist power of mythical goddesses in this witty, inspirational gift. Want to break free from what's holding you back? Channel the Norse warrior goddess Freyja Feeling stressed? Turn the playful Japanese goddess Uzume for a superheroine superboost Tired of being nice? Meet the Irish goddess The Morrigan, a regal renegade who doesn't care what anyone thinks of her. Why settle for mere mortal excellence when you could be living like a goddess? E. Foley and B. Coates show how the tales of these deities have been depicted by men over the centuries, revealing the ancient roots of toxic female stereotypes (the damsel in distress, the selfless mother, the tempting harlot). Now it's time to reclaim their female powers for a new generation. In You Goddess!, the much-loved authors of What Would Boudicca Do? take us on a colourful tour of ancient deities and legends through the prism of female power, sharing the mythical stories of 25 goddesses from every corner of the globe. In this irreverent guide these fierce and fantastic deities will help you to stop apologising, keep your cool, embrace your body and get what you are owed. Divinely illustrated by Georgia Perry, You Goddess! will help you conquer today's world.
In vergeelde foto’s van drie dekades gelede staan oopgesigseuns vol bravade voor Ratel-gevegsvoertuie. Hierdie dienspligtiges van 61 Gemeganiseerde Bataljongroep staan aan die begin van hul reis diep in Angola in om vir volk en vaderland te gaan veg.
In ’n bloedige geveg op Valentynsdag 1988 en in die doodsakker by Tumpo sou hul jeugdige onskuld egter sneuwel. In die hitte van die gevegte kom die besef: Nou gaan dit nie oor ideologie nie, maar om oorlewing.
Ná die oorlog gaan die lewe voort, maar die vrae en geestelike letsels wyk nie. In 2018 keer ’n groep van dié ouddienspligtiges terug na Cuito Cuanavale op soek na afsluiting - en om die wrak te vind van die Ratel waarin ’n makker op die laaste dag van die oorlog gesterf het.
Die Brug vertel van hul reis van jong man na veteraan en gee ook ’n stem aan die vroue in hul lewe. Dit is ’n verhaal van ontnugtering, maar ook van trotse kameraderie en genesing.
Prepare to embark on a global tour through time. You might want to take a map... But this is no ordinary atlas. The maps in HISTORY ATLAS are rich visual extravaganzas, packed with kings, queens, heroes, villains, inventors, artists and explorers. Travel from Ancient Egypt and Rome to Ethiopia, Russia and China, and meet movers and shakers of world history from Genghis Khan to Martin Luther King. With quirky facts, astonishing characters, humorous details and compelling stories, this is history at its most entertaining.
A VIVID PORTRAIT OF WOMEN'S LIVES DURING THE GOLDEN AGE OF TRANSATLANTIC TRAVEL Before convenient air travel, transatlantic travel was the province of the great ocean liners and never more so than in the glory days of the interwar years. It was an extraordinary undertaking made by many women. Some travelled for leisure, some for work; others to find a new life, marriage, to reinvent themselves or find new opportunities. Their stories have remained largely untold - until now. Maiden Voyages is a fascinating portrait of these women, and their lives on board magnificent ocean liners as they sailed between the old and the new worlds. The ocean liner was a microcosm of contemporary society, divided by class: from the luxury of the upper deck, playground for the rich and famous, to the cramped conditions of steerage or third class travel. These iconic liners were filled with women of all ages, classes and backgrounds: celebrities and refugees, migrants and millionairesses, aristocrats and crew members. Full of incredible gossip, stories and intrigue, Maiden Voyages has a diverse cast of inspiring women - from A-listers like Josephine Baker, a dancer from St Louis who found fame in Paris, Marlene Dietrich and Wallis Simpson, Violet 'the unsinkable' Jessop, a crew member who survived the sinking of the Titanic, and entrepreneur Sibyl Colefax, a pioneering interior designer. Whichever direction they were travelling, whatever hopes they entertained, they were all under the spell of life at sea, a spell which would only break when they went ashore. Maiden Voyages is a compelling and highly entertaining account of life on board: part dream factory, part place of work, independence and escape - always moving.
Why have Western societies that were once overwhelmingly Christian become so secular? Looking to the feelings and faith of ordinary people, the award-winning author of Protestants Alec Ryrie offers a bold new history of atheism. We think we know the history of faith: how the ratio of Christian believers has declined and a secular age dawned. In this startlingly original history, Alex Ryrie puts faith in the dock to explore how religious belief didn't just fade away. Rather, atheism bloomed as a belief system in its own right. Unbelievers looks back to the middle ages when it seemed impossible not to subscribe to Christianity, through the crisis of the Reformation and to the powerful, challenging cultural currents of the centuries since. As this history shows, the religious journey of the Western world was lived and steered not just by published philosophy and the celebrated thinkers of the day - the Machiavellis and Michel de Montaignes - but by men and women at every level of society. Their voices and feelings permeate this book in the form of diaries, letters and court records. Tracing the roots of atheism, Ryrie shows that our emotional responses to the times can lead faith to wax and wane: anger at a corrupt priest or anxiety in a turbulent moment spark religious doubt as powerfully as any intellectual revolution. With Christianity under contest and ethical redefinitions becoming more and more significant, Unbelievers shows that to understand how something as intuitive as belief is shaped over time, we must look to an emotional history - one with potent lessons for our still angry and anxious age.
The National Pastime is the annual review of baseball historical research and regional topics published by the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). Each year the publication focuses on the history of baseball in a different region or city, following the annual SABR convention from one major league territory to another.
**THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER** The book that inspired Steven Spielberg's acclaimed TV series, produced by Tom Hanks and starring Damian Lewis. In Band of Brothers, Stephen E. Ambrose pays tribute to the men of Easy Company, a crack rifle company in the US Army. From their rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the dangerous parachute landings on D-Day and their triumphant capture of Hitler's 'Eagle's Nest' in Berchtesgaden. Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company. Repeatedly send on the toughest missions, these brave men fought, went hungry, froze and died in the service of their country. A tale of heroic adventures and soul-shattering confrontations, Band of Brothers brings back to life, as only Stephen E. Ambrose can, the profound ties of brotherhood forged in the barracks and on the battlefields. 'History boldly told and elegantly written . . . Gripping' Wall Street Journal 'Ambrose proves once again he is a masterful historian . . . spellbinding' People
Traditional histories of the Civil War describe the conflict as a war between North and South. Kenneth Noe, following the lead of environmental historians, suggests instead that it was a war between the North and South and the weather. In The Howling Storm: Climate, Weather, and the American Civil War, Noe retells the entire history of the war with a focus on how climate and weather continually shaped the success and failure of battles and campaigns. He contends that climate and weather blunted Confederate hopes by creating flooding and droughts that constricted Confederate food supply and undermined nationalism and patriotism. Ultimately, he concludes, Union generals such as U. S. Grant as well as Federal logisticians were better able to deal with southern weather and soil, which emerged as a significant factor in an eventual Union victory, a result that weather conditions also ironically delayed. The Howling Storm contributes to Civil War historiography in several ways. First, it rethinks traditional explanations of victories and defeats by factoring in weather conditions. The result is that historians will often have to reconsider what they believe they know about the conflict. By examining the war chronologically, Noe addresses how soldiers and civilians alike coped with weather conditions throughout the war. At the same time, his deep consideration of flood and drought in 1862, 1863, and 1864 reshapes traditional explanations of Confederate defeat. For decades, historians have discussed Confederate taxation and logistical problems without considering the foundational causes that forced Richmond to make tough decisions about whether to prioritise feeding soldiers or civilians. Noe describes the war's weather conditions as unusual, something geographers routinely discuss but Civil War historians have not previously known. He places the Civil War's unusual weather in the context of broader weather phenomena such as El Nino, La Nina, and similar oscillations in the Atlantic Ocean. Noe's work is the first comprehensive examination of weather and climate during the war and is certain to reshape the field in terms of its approach, coverage, and conclusions.
Civil War Supply and Strategy stands as a sweeping examination of the decisive link between the distribution of provisions to soldiers and the strategic movement of armies during the Civil War. Award-winning historian Earl J. Hess reveals how that dynamic served as the key to success, especially for the Union army as it undertook bold offensives striking far behind Confederate lines. How generals and their subordinates organized military resources to provide food for both men and animals under their command, he argues, proved essential to Union victory. The Union army developed a powerful logistical capability that enabled it to penetrate deep into Confederate territory and exert control over select regions of the South. Logistics and supply empowered Union offensive strategy but limited it as well; heavily dependent on supply lines, road systems, preexisting railroad lines, and natural waterways, Union strategy worked far better in the more developed Upper South. Union commanders encountered unique problems in the Deep South, where needed infrastructure was more scarce. While the Mississippi River allowed Northern armies to access the region along a narrow corridor and capture key cities and towns along its banks, the dearth of rail lines nearly stymied William T. Sherman's advance to Atlanta. In other parts of the Deep South, the Union army relied on massive strategic raids to destroy resources and propel its military might into the heart of the Confederacy. As Hess's study shows, from the perspective of maintaining food supply and moving armies, there existed two main theaters of operation, north and south, that proved just as important as the three conventional eastern, western, and Trans-Mississippi theaters. Indeed, the conflict in the Upper South proved so different from that in the Deep South that the ability of Federal officials to negotiate the logistical complications associated with army mobility played a crucial role in determining the outcome of the war.
Tyrant, psychopath, and implementer of a ruthless programme of racial extermination, Adolf Hitler was also the charismatic Fuhrer of millions of dedicated followers. In this major new biography, internationally acclaimed German historian Peter Longerich brings Hitler back to centre-stage in the history of Nazism, revealing a far more active and interventionist dictator than we are familiar with from recent accounts, with a flexibility of approach that often surprises. Whether it was foreign policy, war-making, terror, mass murder, cultural and religious affairs, or even mundane everyday matters, Longerich reveals how decisive a force Hitler was in the formulation of policy, sometimes right down to the smallest details, in a way which until now has not been fully appreciated. Consistently and ruthlessly destroying both the people and the power structures that stood in his way, Longerich shows how over time Hitler succeeded in forging his 'Fuhrer dictatorship' - with terrifying and almost limitless power over the German people.
An authentic account of one of the most pivotal battles of World War Two. The World War Two invasion known as D-Day was one of the largest military endeavours in history. It involved years of planning, total secrecy and not only soldiers but also sailors, paratroopers and many specialists. Acclaimed author Deborah Hopkinson weaves together the contributions of key players in D-Day in a masterful tapestry of official documents, personal narratives and archival photos to provide an action-packed and authentic account.
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