Of Tricksters, Tyrants and Turncoats
More Unusual Stories from South Africa's Past
by Max du Preez
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The sequel to the bestselling Of Warriors, Lovers and Prophets, this is a collection of more fascinating, colourful - and mostly unknown - historical tales, all meticulously researched and written in a lively and engaging style. There are stories of Khoikhoi who tried - with mixed fortunes - to integrate into early Cape colonial society, and eccentric Europeans who ventured to the turbulent interior. Readers will meet the Xhosa mystic and war-doctor Makhanda, who nearly succeeded in taking Grahamstown from the British in 1819; and the chieftainess Mantatisi, who led her people to military victories during the upheavals of the nineteenth century. Also featured are the Johannesburg-based Foster Gang, who were indirectly responsible for the killing of Boer hero Koos de la Rey; and the men who pulled off the biggest jewellery heist of the time, stealing Bridget Oppenheimer’s jewels in 1956. Of Tricksters, Tyrants and Turncoats spans more than three hundred years of history, concluding with an account of the man who exposed South Africa’s controversial arms deal. Once again, Max du Preez brings the past to life, proving that history can be more interesting - and more fun - than fiction.
- Random House Struik, November 2010
Zebra Press (Random House Struik)
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