The Memoirs of Paul Kruger: Four Times President of the South African Republic: Told by Himself (Paperback)
Paul Kruger was the dominating figure of Boer-and therefore South African-history of the nineteenth century. His life spanned the time of the Great Trek-the European settlement of the interior-right up to the end of the Second Boer War, and the shadow of his political career stretched deep into the twentieth century.
His memoirs, dictated while in exile shortly after the end of the Second Boer War, provide a remarkable and unique insight into this period of history, from a perspective which no other work has ever delivered.
This fast-moving account starts with a short biographical account of Kruger's early years in the British-ruled Cape Colony, his participation in the Great Trek, and pioneer life in the interior.
The narration then swiftly moves on to describe the founding of the Boer republics of the Orange Free State and the South African Republic ("Transvaal"). Intertwined in this dramatic story is Kruger's own activities, and his entry into public life, first as a local commander (a "field cornet"), then as elected commandant-general of the armed forces. Kruger throws light on the Boer civil war of 1861-1864, the ongoing conflict with the surrounding African tribes, and the events leading up to the 1877 British annexation of the Transvaal. Kruger's role in the resulting Boer insurrection, which resulted in the First Boer War and the British Empire's first defeat since the American Revolution, is dealt with in full.
Kruger's election, first as vice president of the Transvaal, and thereafter as president-a process to be repeated four times-firmly established his dominating presence in South African history. Finally, he describes in detail the events which led to the outbreak of the Second Boer War, and his exile to Europe.
This new edition contains the full text and original footnotes from the first German- and English-language editions, and a number of new footnotes explaining events, terms, and personalities to the present-day reader. It also contains a new epilogue which briefly describes Kruger's life and death in exile. It also contains all eleven appendices from the original edition.