With the passing of Nelson Mandela, ‘the father of the nation’, comes the end of an era, and the moment to look back on his remarkable saving, and remaking, of South Africa. After years of oppression and racial inequality, concentrated violence and apartheid, Mandela led the country to unite ‘for the freedom of us all’ as the country’s first black President. South Africa: History in an Hour gives a lively account of the formation of modern South Africa, from the first contact with seventeenth-century European sailors, through the colonial era, the Boer Wars, apartheid and the establishment of a tolerant democracy in the late twentieth century. Here is a clear and fascinating overview of the emergence of the ‘Rainbow Nation’. Know your stuff: read about South African history in just one hour. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Jonathan Keeble. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/hcuk/001068/bk_hcuk_001068_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
What wove the African continent into the rich fabric of cultures and peoples that it is today? Where did ancient culture, trade, and civilization begin? How did the African people survive and thrive despite European colonization and apartheid? These are just some of the questions you’ll find answers to in Africa: African History from Ancient Egypt to Modern South Africa. Africa is a vast continent whose waters, fertile lands, minerals, and diverse wildlife nurtured humankind since ancient times until European colonization and exploitation caused immeasurable suffering and loss. To understand how Africa developed, thrived, suffered, and emerged into the rich tapestry of peoples that it is today, take a trip back to the ancient River Nile and the East African coast. Witness: The development of small settlements into three distinct cultures The Carthaginian Empire grow and flourish as an economic and commercial power The settlement of the Zimbabwe plateau and the construction of enormous stone cities The emergence of the Kingdom of Kongo and its expansion through peaceful trade and alliances The upheaval, atrocities, wars, and eventual stability created by European colonization The founding of the Congo Free State and the growth of forced labor to extract valuable resources from the land The decolonization of Africa and the return of territorial sovereignty and independence The forced racial segregation under apartheid and the birth of a new constitution that ended it The founding of the African Union to establish norms across the continent Start your study of the struggles and triumphs of the African people today with Africa: African History from Ancient Egypt to Modern South Africa. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Sam Bubis. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/102537/bk_acx0_102537_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The British South-African Company´s shares May be at a discount - (Trade-martyrs! - trade-martyrs!) But he, our Colossus, strides on, he declares, Whether with or without chums or charters - or charters. Hooray! We brave Britons are right now to the front - Provided we´ve someone to boss us - to boss us; And Scuttlers will have their work cut out to shunt This stalwart, far-striding Colossus - Colossus! —Excerpt from an editorial in Punch, December 10, 1892 The modern history of Africa was, until very recently, written on behalf of the indigenous races by the white man, who had forcefully entered the continent during a particularly hubristic and dynamic phase of European history. In 1884, Prince Otto von Bismark, the German chancellor, brought the plenipotentiaries of all major powers of Europe together, to deal with Africa´s colonization in such a manner as to avoid provocation of war. This event - known as the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 - galvanized a phenomenon that came to be known as the Scramble for Africa. The conference established two fundamental rules for European seizure of Africa. The first of these was that no recognition of annexation would be granted without evidence of a practical occupation, and the second, that a practical occupation would be deemed unlawful without a formal appeal for protection made on behalf of a territory by its leader, a plea that must be committed to paper in the form of a legal treaty. This began a rush, spearheaded mainly by European commercial interests in the form of Chartered Companies, to penetrate the African interior and woo its leadership with guns, trinkets, and alcohol, and having thus obtained their marks or seals upon spurious treaties, begin establishing boundaries of future European African colonies. The ease with which this was achieved was due to the fact that, at that point, traditional African leadership was disunited, and the people had just staggered back from centuries of concuss 1. Language: English. Narrator: Scott Clem. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/089599/bk_acx0_089599_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
´´The Boers were hostile toward indigenous African peoples, with whom they fought frequent range wars, and toward the government of the Cape, which was attempting to control Boer movements and commerce. They overtly compared their way of life to that of the Israel patriarchs of the Bible, developing independent patriarchal communities based upon a mobile pastoralist economy. Staunch Calvinists, they saw themselves as the children of God in the wilderness, a Christian elect divinely ordained to rule the land and the backward natives therein. By the end of the 18th century the cultural links between the Boers and their urban counterparts were diminishing, although both groups continued to speak a type of Flemish.” (Encyclopaedia Britannica)The Boer War was the defining conflict of South African history and one of the most important conflicts in the history of the British Empire. In fact, the European history of South Africa began with the 1652 arrival of a small Dutch flotilla in Table Bay, which made landfall with a view to establishing a victualing station to service passing Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) ships. The Dutch at that point largely dominated the East Indian Trade, and it was their establishment of the settlement of Kaapstad, or Cape Town, that set in motion the lengthy and often turbulent history of South Africa.For over a century, the Cape remained a Dutch East India Company settlement, and in the interests of limiting expenses, strict parameters were established to avoid the development of a colony. As religious intolerance in Europe drove a steady trickle of outward emigration, however, Dutch settlers began to informally expand beyond the Cape, settling the sparsely inhabited hinterland to the north and east of Cape Town. In their wake, towards the end of the 17th century, followed a wave of French Huguenot immigrants, fleeing a renewal of anti-Protestantism in Europe. They were integrated over 1. Language: English. Narrator: Colin Fluxman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/148216/bk_acx0_148216_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In 1884, Otto von Bismarck, the German chancellor, brought the plenipotentiaries of all major powers of Europe together, to deal with Africa´s colonization in such a manner as to avoid provocation of war. This event—known as the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885—galvanized a phenomenon that came to be known as the Scramble for Africa. The conference established two fundamental rules for European seizure of Africa. The first of these was that no recognition of annexation would granted without evidence of a practical occupation, and the second, that a practical occupation would be deemed unlawful without a formal appeal for protection made on behalf of a territory by its leader, a plea that must be committed to paper in the form of a legal treaty. This began a rush, spearheaded mainly by European commercial interests in the form of Chartered Companies, to penetrate the African interior and woo its leadership with guns, trinkets and alcohol, and having thus obtained their marks or seals upon spurious treaties, begin establishing boundaries of future European African colonies. The ease with which this was achieved was due to the fact that, at that point, traditional African leadership was disunited, and the people had just staggered back from centuries of concussion inflicted by the slave trade. Thus, to usurp authority, to intimidate an already broken society, and to play one leader against the other was a diplomatic task so childishly simple, the matter was wrapped up, for the most part, in less than a decade. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Colin Fluxman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/104013/bk_acx0_104013_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Africa supplies the majority of the world´s diamonds, yet consumers generally know little about the origins and history of these precious stones beyond sensationalized media accounts of so-called blood diamonds. Stones of Contention explores the major developments in the remarkable history of Africa´s diamonds, from the first stirrings of international interest in the continent´s mineral wealth in the first millennium A.D. to the present day. In the European colonial period, the discovery of diamonds in South Africa ushered in an era of unprecedented greed during which monopolistic enterprises exploited both the mineral resources and the indigenous workforce. In the aftermath of World War II, the governments of newly independent African states, both democratic and despotic, joined industry giant De Beers and other corporations to oversee and profit from mining activity on the continent. The book also considers the experiences of a wide array of Africans - from informal artisanal miners, company mineworkers, and indigenous authorities to armed rebels, mining executives, and premiers of mineral-rich states - and their relationships to the stones that have the power to bring both wealth and misery. The book is published by Ohio University Press. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Caleb Rector. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/038930/bk_acx0_038930_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Carthage was one of the great ancient civilizations, and at its peak, the wealthy Carthaginian empire dominated the Mediterranean against the likes of Greece and Rome, with commercial enterprises and influence stretching from Spain to Turkey. In fact, at several points in history, it had a very real chance of replacing the fledgling Roman Empire or the failing Greek poleis (city-states) altogether as master of the Mediterranean. Although Carthage by far preferred to exert economic pressure and influence before resorting to direct military power, it nonetheless produced a number of outstanding generals, from the likes of Hanno Magnus to, of course, the great bogeyman of Roman nightmares himself: Hannibal. Certain foreign policy decisions led to continuing enmity between Carthage and the burgeoning power of Rome, and what followed was a series of wars which turned from a battle for Mediterranean hegemony into an all-out struggle for survival. Although the Romans gained the upper hand in the wake of the First Punic War, Hannibal brought the Romans to their knees for over a decade during the Second Punic War. After the serious threat Hannibal posed during the Second Punic War, the Romans didn’t wait much longer to take the fight to the Carthaginians in the Third Punic War, which ended with Roman legions smashing Carthage to rubble. As legend has it, the Romans literally salted the ground upon which Carthage stood to ensure its destruction once and for all. At its height, the Roman Empire covered huge swathes of Western Europe, the Middle East, Egypt, and North Africa, and while many people are aware of Rome’s influence and legacy in Europe and the Middle East, they often have less understanding of Roman settlements on North Africa´s Mediterranean coast. Nonetheless, this was an area that produced a number of emperors (including the only black emperors), some of the most sophisticated towns and cities of the empire, and Roman ruins that offer some 1. Language: English. Narrator: Colin Fluxman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/133764/bk_acx0_133764_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Dramatic alterations in political power have corrected the once prevalent vision of a European-centered world. While the centers of European culture flourished, decayed and sprouted in turn, empires in Africa rose, ruled, resisted, and succumbed. Much of Africa´s past has now been excavated from ignorance and error, revealing a rich and previously little-known human heritage. This classic work draws on the whole range of literature about Africa as well as evidence provided by archaeology, oral traditions, language relationships, and social institutions. It marshals the most authoritative views of African specialists into an absorbing narrative and puts forward original conclusions that take the study of Africa a stage further. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Ralph Cosham. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/blak/003206/bk_blak_003206_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
By the mid-15th century, the Byzantine Empire had collapsed and the various Crusades that had taken place in the region had largely disrupted the overland routes of the Silk Road and trade. Compounding the difficulties of trade was the rise of the Ottoman Empire in place of the Byzantines and the outbreak of the Black Death in Europe.Around this time, a period of European exploration began, and major factors that contributed to this period of exploration were introduced by the Chinese, albeit indirectly. The magnetic compass had already been developed and used by the Chinese sailors, the Song Dynasty then began using the device for land navigation in the 11th century. The technology slowly spread west via Arab traders, although a case can be made for the independent European creation for the compass (Southey 1812: 210).Trade was able to increase around the world due to more effective ships being introduced, which were first introduced by the Chinese. The introduction of multiple mast ships and the sternpost rudders allowed the ships to travel quicker and be more maneuverable, with a minimum number of crew aboard.The Portuguese started exploring the west coast of Africa and the Atlantic under orders from Prince Henry the Navigator. At this point, Europeans had not yet been capable of navigating completely around Africa, but the Portuguese continued pushing down the western African coast looking for ways to bypass the Ottomans and Muslims of Africa who had been making overland trade routes difficult. In 1451, Prince Henry the Navigator helped fund and develop a new type of ship, the caravel, that featured triangular lateen sails and would be able to travel in the open ocean and sail against the wind. In 1488, Bartholomew Diaz rounded the southern tip of Africa, named the Cape of Good Hope by King John of Portugal, and entered the Indian Ocean from the Atlantic.When it became clear Christopher Columbus hadn’t landed in Asia, it was unde 1. Language: English. Narrator: Bill Hare. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/146513/bk_acx0_146513_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.