The Boer war Illustrated edition – Thomas Pakenham



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    The Boer war Illustrated edition – Thomas Pakenham

    Post by Nico10 on Sat 12 Nov 2011, 7:53 pm

    “The Boer war” by Pakenham is a book about the conflict in South Africa between the British empire and the independent Boer republics that resulted in their loss of independence in 1902. The war already started in 1899 and despite many observers expecting the war to be over quickly, it lasted more than 2 years.

    The Boer war was an unnecessary and tragic conflict. It resulted in the most unbelievable misery and what it clear from studying a work like this is that the Boer war was certainly not unpreventable, as one is often lead to believe. On both the side of the British as well as the Boers, there were leaders that were instrumental to initiating the war. In the end, one can righty ask, what was this war for?

    It is amazing how many works there are available on the subject of the Boer was. Pakenham’s is but one of the many many works available. It is clear that there is a big interest in the Boer war world wide, despite the fact that there are so many other important historical events. The Boer war, as an object of historical study, has proven itself to be immensely popular, and any author of a work on the Boer war is up for a challenge to bring something new to the table. In this regard, Pakenham certainly doesn’t fail.

    Pakenham’s “Boer war”, but particularly this illustrated edition, will give anybody interested in the subject a great introduction. The author went to great extremes to make the study not read like a report. For serious historians, this fact might be a bit of a turnoff, albeit very small. But for those who often struggle to read dusty old history book, they will probably be very thankful toward the author for producing a work like this since “The Boer War” reads much more like a novel than a report on the events.

    Despite the book’s at times seemingly commercial style, one cannot question the academic merit of Packenham’s “The Boer war”. The author studied a wealth of information in preparation for writing this fascinating book and amongst his sources were primary documents relating to the war as well as interviews with survivors who did battle (there interviews were conducted round 70 years after the events). “The Boer war” thus will provide fascinating insights even to scholars who have studies many other works relating to the war.

    With regards to the illustrations and pictures one can find in the illustrated edition, these are very valuable additions. Apart from maps, reproduced paintings and pictures, one also finds for example European cartoons in alongside the text, most notably French cartoons. When taken into consideration how some of the Boer generals and leaders reasoned about Europe and Europe’s role in the war, one can easily see why there was hope on there side at times for European intervention.

    Yet, as with many books about war, Pakenham’s “The Boer war” once again shows how tragic a war is. It also shows how unnecessary war is. In the history of military conflict, the Boer war possibly stands out in its inhumaneness, when taken into consideration all the innocent civilians that died unnecessary.

    In conclusion, “The Boer war” by Thomas Pakenham is not a complete guide to the war, but it is a great introduction to the bloody conflict known as the Boer war. For a more complete view, one should consult the other works about the war, and possibly the edition by Pakenham that excludes the illustrations, since a large part of the text has been cut away for the illustrated edition. Yet, Thomas Pakenham’s “The Boer war Illustrated edition”, with its great pictorial view of some of the tragic events relating to the war is in its own right a very valuable contribution to literature on the subject.

      Current date/time is Tue 18 Sep 2018, 8:59 pm