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Andrew Lownie
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undefined, undefined (2010)
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English
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Battles & campaignsAfrican history
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Zulu Rising

The epic story of iSandlwana and Rorke´s drift

by Knight, Ian

TV presenter Neil Oliver said of the book ‘I loved it...full of fresh ideas and new wisdom. Instead of blood some writers have a story running through their veins – Ian Knight is one of those writers and iSandlwana is his story.’

Zulu Rising, a major new study by Ian Knight of the battles of iSandlwana and Rorke’s Drift in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, tells the story of how a part-time army of African herdsmen brought to a halt – temporarily at least – more than half a century of British Imperial progress across southern Africa. The battle of iSandlwana was the bloodiest defeat inflicted upon the British Army during the Victorian era, and it sent shock-waves around the world and catapulted the Zulu people into a media spotlight from which they have yet to escape. That same day a small garrison of British troops at the border post of Rorke’s Drift held off an attack by overwhelming Zulu numbers for nearly ten hours earning no less than eleven Victoria Crosses (this incident was the inspiration for the Michael Caine film Zulu). Yet beneath the stereotypes of noble warriors and heroic redcoats the battles in fact reflected a brutal clash of cultures, a destructive collision of two warrior peoples that shaped the course of South African history into recent times. Closely researched, Zulu Risingfollows the lives of individuals on both sides and weaves them together into a visceral description of the fighting – and its aftermath.

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Comments

" This is a book with many strengths. It gives an unrivalled feel for time and place...his understanding of the terrain and grasp of the sources enable him to come as close to painting a coherent picture of the battle as we can hope for...this fine book."

Richard Holmes

Reviews: Literary Review

"Ian Knight, an acknowledged expert on the Zulu Wars, has collated 30 years of research, some of it previously unpublished, to produce a definitive account of one of the most dramatic encounters in the whole history of Empire, collecting anecdotes and memories like the fragments of bone that littered the field of battle….this tour de force."


Reviews: Daily Mail Book of the Week

Knight’s ability to capture the reality of the fighting and his combination of precise detail with the bigger picture helps make this book a gripping read."

Jeremy Black

Reviews: BBC History Magazine

"In this exceptional book, Ian Knight manages to expose many of the Victorian myths while still capturing the kind of epic excitement that makes Zulu so stirring. It is a first-class work of military history, not least for its evocative and extensive use of Zulu sources."


Reviews: Sunday Times

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