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The Mirror at Midnight

A South African Journey

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History lies heavily on South Africa, and Adam Hochschild brings to bear a lifetime's familiarity with the country in an eye-opening work that blends history and reportage. Hochschild looks at the tensions of modern South Africa through a dramatic prism: the pivotal nineteenth-century Battle of Blood River -- which determined whether the Boers or the Zulus would control that part of the world -- and its contentious commemoration by rival groups 150 years later. This incisive book offers an unusual window onto a society that remains divided. In his epilogue, Hochschild extends his view to the astonishing political changes that have occurred in the country in recent years -- and the changes yet to be made.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 31, 1990 – In a stunning blend of reportage, travelogue, history and meditation, Hochschild focuses on the Great Trek of 1836-1839, when Boer coastal settlers, armed with muskets, ox whips and Bibles, staked out the borders of modern South Africa. He reenacts the pivotal Battle of Blood River in 1838, in which countless Zulus were massacred, and explains how Dingane, tall, stout chief of the Zulus' military kingdom, was demonized later by white historians. Today the Great Trek is part of ``the 150-year-old national myth of Afrikaners- as-victims.'' Turning to reportage, Hochschild ( Half the Way Home ), who visited South Africa in 1988, interviewed the head of a neo-Nazi group, a ``coloured'' (racially mixed) teacher who spent 10 years in a black-only prison, and the four Watson brothers, rugby stars who have been targets of repeated assassination attempts for refusing to play on all-white teams. An epilogue covers events up to the present. One of the most illuminating books ever written on contemporary South Africa, this biopsy probes the racial divide in razor-sharp prose.
The Mirror at Midnight
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Africa
  • Published: Apr 24, 2007
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Seller: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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