APARTHEID'S BLACK SOLDIERS, Un-national wars and militaries in Southern Africa

: Bolliger (L.)

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269pp., maps, illus., paperback, Athens, 2021


“Lennart Bolliger’s exceptionally well-researched monograph on the experiences of Black African soldiers who fought in the war for Namibian independence on the side of apartheid South Africa makes a major contribution to our knowledge of that war and of what happened to those who fought in it. Apartheid’s Black Soldiers is essential reading for anyone concerned with the history of the liberation of Southern Africa and the region’s postliberation politics.” Chris Saunders, Professor Emeritus of Historical Studies, University of Cape Town

“Lennart Bolliger’s book explains with admirable clarity the vexed, troubling history of African soldiers who fought in Southern Africa’s ‘un-national wars’ against liberation armies engaged in the long struggle against colonialism and apartheid. Drawing on a rich collection of oral interviews with the soldiers themselves, Apartheid’s Black Soldiers refuses any easy readings of these soldiers‘ motivations. Instead, Bolliger situates soldiers within the local, regional, and transnational contexts of their recruitment, their basic economic needs, and their interpretations of the immediate political and military circumstances engulfing them. As a result, this book offers key new perspectives on African soldiers who are often described as ‘sellouts’ but whose motivations were far more complicated than that.” Michelle R. Moyd, author of Violent Intermediaries: African soldiers, conquest, and everyday colonialism in German East Africa

Lennart Bolliger is a lecturer in international history at Utrecht University. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Asian and African Studies of the Humboldt University of Berlin and a visiting researcher at the History Workshop of the University of the Witwatersrand.