Diamonds, Gold, and War

  • by Martin Meredith
  • Narrated by Matthew Waterson
  • 19 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Southern Africa was once regarded as a worthless jumble of British colonies, Boer republics, and African chiefdoms, a troublesome region of little interest to the outside world. But then prospectors chanced upon the world’s richest deposits of diamonds and gold, setting off a titanic struggle between the British and the Boers for control of the land. The result was the costliest, bloodiest, and most humiliating war that Britain had waged in nearly a century, and the devastation of the Boer republics.
The New Yorker calls this magisterial account of those years “[an] astute history.…Meredith expertly shows how the exigencies of the diamond (and then gold) rush laid the foundation for apartheid.”


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Engrossing story on the evolution of the modern SA

I read this book when it was first published in the US some years ago and was enthralled. Very familiar with the territory as I am, I have recently been severely disenchanted by the abundance of post-1994 revisionist pablum that now occupy the bookshelves of most bookstores and many libraries. One recent, well-acclaimed review of the new South Africa barely mentions pre-1994 history!
This audible book gave me a chance to re-explore the hows and the whys of the Republic's evolution. I enjoyed it thoroughly and was fascinated to, once again, re-discover how much the story parallels our own US history during a similar period (without King and Country, of course). At least those much maligned "white Africans", the Afrikaners, get a fair hearing here and one also begins to realize that their British Imperial overseers were as much responsible for sowing the seeds of apartheid as their Boer wards. Affirmative action, early twentieth century style.
The narration is, on the whole, very good indeed BUT is marred by the reader's absolutely atrocious and fractured pronunciation of Afrikaner place-names etc. Something that, with a little advanced vocal coaching could easily have been rectified, btw. Otherwise Highly recommended!
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- Cary

Interesting story of Southern Africa

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this in a heart beat...

What other book might you compare Diamonds, Gold, and War to and why?

None like it other that specific history of various events in Southern Africa... this is a great overall story encompassing the entire history...

What does Matthew Waterson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

passion and excellence in delivery of the story...

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

the never dying spirit of the Voortrekker and the Boer...

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- Y. Harrington

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-11-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios