The Making of Modern South Africa is a comprehensive and well-researched book that delves into the history of South Africa from the arrival of the Dutch in the 17th century to the end of apartheid in the 20th century. The book is divided into four parts, each of which focuses on a specific period in South African history. The author, Nigel Worden, is a respected historian who has written several books on South African history. In this book, he presents a detailed account of the events that shaped South Africa and how the country evolved into the complex society it is today.
Part One: The Early Years
Part one of the book covers the period from the arrival of the Dutch in the 17th century to the early 19th century. During this time, the Dutch established a settlement at the Cape of Good Hope, which was primarily used as a waystation for ships traveling between Europe and Asia. The Dutch also brought slaves from Indonesia to work on their farms. The author describes how the Dutch colonists clashed with the indigenous Khoisan people, who were eventually pushed out of their lands and forced to become laborers on Dutch farms. The author also discusses the arrival of British settlers in the early 19th century, who brought with them a different set of values and beliefs.
Part Two: The Rise of Apartheid
Part two of the book covers the period from the late 19th century to the end of apartheid in the early 1990s. During this time, South Africa became a British colony, and the British brought in large numbers of Indian and Chinese immigrants to work on the mines and in the cities. The author describes how the white population became increasingly fearful of the growing black majority and how this fear led to the establishment of apartheid, a system of racial segregation that was designed to keep the white population in power. The author also discusses the rise of the African National Congress (ANC), a black nationalist organization that fought against apartheid through peaceful means.
Part Three: The Struggle Against Apartheid
Part three of the book covers the period from the 1950s to the end of apartheid in the early 1990s. During this time, the ANC launched a campaign of civil disobedience and protests against the apartheid government. The author describes how the government responded with violence and repression, killing thousands of black protesters. The author also discusses the role of international pressure, particularly from the United Nations, in bringing about the end of apartheid. The author describes how the ANC eventually negotiated a peaceful transition to democracy with the white government, leading to the first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994.
Part Four: The Post-Apartheid Era
Part four of the book covers the period from the end of apartheid in the early 1990s to the present day. During this time, South Africa has undergone a period of rapid change, with the election of a black government and the implementation of a number of social and economic reforms. The author describes how the ANC has struggled to deliver on its promises of jobs, housing, and education, and how corruption and crime have become major problems in the country. The author also discusses the role of South Africa in the region and the world, including its involvement in the African Union and the United Nations.
Overall, The Making of Modern South Africa is a comprehensive and well-researched book that provides a detailed account of the events that shaped South Africa. The author presents a balanced and nuanced view of the country’s history, highlighting both the achievements and the failures of the various governments that have ruled the country. The book is an important resource for anyone interested in understanding the complex history of South Africa and the challenges that the country faces today.