Review Article: War in Southern Africa

Book Review


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Journal Title

Journal of the International African Institute

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University of Cape Town

The study of war really is not what it used to be. The twentieth century has altered our way of looking at wars and the military. Scholars became interested in how armed forces relate to economic affairs, culture or politi- cal decision-making, how intelligence affected actions, and the effects of wars on imagination and memory. Militarism, resistance to it, and peace studies spawned countless books. And what was once thought to be peripheral -- budgetary battles, for example, or the role of women --became central. The four books under review here are about war in Africa. The first, a special issue of Cambridge Anthropology, is the product of a colloquium on contemporary warfare in Africa. The remaining books are devoted to southern Africa. Namibia is the subject of 'The Devils are among Us'. In 'War and Society', editors Jacklyn Cock and Laurie Nathan collect twenty-four contributions about South Africa. 'Like Lions they Fought' is also on South Africa, but Robert B. Edgerton takes a more historical line in examining the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.