557pp., maps, hardback, d.w., Johannesburg, 2017
A radical re-interpretation of the Jameson Raid that locates the attempted coup in Paul Kruger's Boer Republic in American rather than British history by examining the role played by Californian mining engineer John Hays Hammond, a confidant of both Cecil John Rhodes and Leander Starr Jameson.
"Charles van Onselen is arguably the most talented and influential South African historian of his generation. His latest book, The Cowboy Capitalist: John Hays Hammond, The American West and the Jameson Raid in South Africa, focuses on the influential elite composed of both mine owners and politicians of late nineteenth-century South Africa.... [T]hrough the imaginative discovery of new evidence, introducing a broader cast of characters into our understanding of the Jameson Raid, Charles van Onselen has opened the way for a reconsideration of South Africa’s history in the increasingly global world of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries." African Studies Association
"Cowboy Capitalist displays in abundance the trademark talent of its author - his blistering combination of depth, breadth, authoritative scholarship, combativeness and wit. A brilliant book which makes an old imperial story fresh and surprising." Bill Nasson, University of Stellenbosch
"No one reading this mesmerising tri-continental tale will ever look at the US informal empire, the Boer republic, or British imperialism in southern Africa in quite the same way again" Robert May, Purdue University
Charles van Onselen, Research Professor in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Pretoria, is the author of Showdown at the Red Lion: the life and times of Jack McLoughlin, 1859–1910, The Fox and the Flies, Masked Raiders and The Seed is Mine, which won the 1997 Alan Paton Award.