Lays emphasis on the continuing influence of the country's African heritage whilst also chronicling the processes of colonial conquest and of economic development stemming from the industrial revolution. This is followed by an analysis of the fundamental political changes South Africa has undergone, and a background for understanding those many things which have not changed.
List of illustrations; Preface; Terminology and orthography; Introduction; 1. The settlement of the country; 2. Colonial conquest; 3. Unification; 4. Consolidation; 5. Apartheid; 6. The costs of apartheid; 7: 'Let freedom reign': the ending of apartheid and the transition to democracy, 1980-1994; 8. Epilogue: the acid rain of freedom; Suggestions for further reading; Index.