Description - The Washing of the Spears by Donald R. Morris
In 1879, armed only with their spears, their rawhide shields, and their incredible courage, the Zulus challenged the might of Victorian England and, initially, inflicted on the British the worst defeat a modern army has ever suffered at the hands of men without guns. This definitive account of the rise of the Zulu nation under the great ruler Shaka and its fall under Cetshwayo has been acclaimed for its scholarship, its monumental range, and its spellbinding readability. The story is studded with tales of drama and heroism: the Battle of Isandhlwana, where the Zulu army wiped out the major British column; and Rorke's Drift, where a handful of British troops beat off thousands of Zulu warriors and won eleven Victoria Crosses.
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(234mm x 154mm x 47mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
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Book Reviews - The Washing of the Spears by Donald R. Morris
US Kirkus Review »
This has everything its subtitle promises, and more: it will run to nearly 900 pages and has a long, long bibliography. While hardly the book to consult for a fast grasp of the outlines of Zulu history, it provides a sweeping, all-inclusive military, political, and personal record, and if properly indexed it will surely be very valuable to scholars. For the less dedicated reader (again, dependent on indexing and careful chapter headings), there are several sections well worth finding, especially the brightly-written romantic chapter on Louis Napoleon and how he came to die in Africa fighting for the English. The creation of a unified nation of Zulus, the quirks of Boer politics, the vacillation of the British before deciding to annex Zululand, and the mistakes made by the first colonial administration after the war was over, all in certain ways set the stage for the troubles of southern Africa as we know them in recent times, and Morris analyzes them thoroughly. He also provides a capsule guide to Zulu spelling and pronounciation, but it is a question how much that will aid the average reader in wading through a book with more than its share of names like isaNgqu, umXhapo, and Gqikazi. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Donald R. Morris
Donald R. Morris was born in 1924 and grew up in New York City. In 1948 he graduated from the US Naval Academy at Annapolis. After serving on several destroyers, he went on to Naval Intelligence School and Russian language training and was detailed to the CIA in 1956. He remained with the CIA and continued in the Naval Reserve until 1972, when he retired as a Lieutenant Commander. He earned two battle stars in Korea and holds the Navy Commendation medal. His 17 years with the CIA were spent almost entirely in Soviet counter-espionage operations. He was stationed for lengthy periods in Berlin, Paris, Kinshasa (Zaire) and Vietnam. For many years Donald Morris was also a foreign affairs columnist for the Houston Post. In 1989 he formed the Trident Syndicate and published a weekly newsletter on current events and foreign affairs. He died in 2002.