A History of the Zulu PeopleBook - 1995
A FASCINATING REAPPRAISAL OF A PROUD AND INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE AT CRITICAL JUNCTURE IN THEIR HISTORY
History has portrayed Shaka, founder of the Zulu nation, as a pitiless and savage conqueror. Yet British fortune-seekers of the 1820s found Shaka's Zulus a dignified people whose martial qualities were tempered by generosity and hospitality. Within a few years, as Zulu territory was threatened by expanding colonial populations, all this had changed.
Taylor's resonant and acute account conjures the atmosphere of the past through close adherence to contemporary oral sources. The Zulu world, its passions, intrigues and ideals, the sly white traders, the squabbling Boers, the thunderous battles and the bright African landscape rise fresh and startling from the page.
Tribal orders are re-emerging in South Africa's first multi-racial democracy. Yet the Zulu -- in the vanguard eighty years ago of the formation of the ANC -- are now seen as rebels against the new order. Their past and their place in South Africa's history has taken on an urgent contemporary relevance.
"Taylor does nothing to dispel the savage grandeur of the legend; but he manages to keep in our minds, throughout the saga proud and bitter, the fact that the Zulu were never more or less human than the white men."JAN MORRIS, 'Independent'
"An important book. Taylor refuses to follow the politically correct course and the outcome is refreshing and illuminating."NATAL, 'Daily News'
"A vivid, largely sympathetic popular history."NEW STATESMAN & SOCIETY
"The 'Great Men' theory of history has been out of favour for many years now but, as Stephen Taylor's enthralling book shows, it has to be dusted down again if South Africa is to be properly considered."SCOTSMAN