Sunday, June 6, 2010

New book titles coming soon!

This posting lists a collection of interesting new book titles due to be released shortly. Some items will be available later this year, while others will only be released early next year in 2011.

I’m pleased to see that many of these publications are finally revealing drips and drabs of truth!

Click on the book titles for more details provided by

Where available, the images of book covers will take viewers directly to the South African page dealing with the publication.

Dropzone Africa: Airborne and Airmobile Warfare in Southern Africa: 1961-1994
by Marius Whittle

Hardcover – 1 February 2011
ISBN: 9781920143435
Pages: 448

Much has been written on airborne and airmobile warfare from a First World perspective, but very little has been written from Africa’s. The African—and especially southern African—operational theatres posed unique challenges. The lack of infrastructure, the lack of key points to attack, as well as the lack of mobility facing conventionally mounted forces and their subsequent inability to respond rapidly over the types of distances inherent in most African operational theatres, all played a role in the development of a uniquely African approach to this type of warfare. France’s experiences in Algeria and the birth of the helicopter ‘gunship’ and its associated tactics led the way. Foremost among the forces operating in subsequent theatres were the Portuguese, Rhodesians and South Africans during their various counter-insurgency (COIN) campaigns, with the helicopter playing a pivotal role with its mobility, firepower and shock effect. This book studies the role played by their airborne and airmobile forces during these campaigns as well as their equipment, doctrine and tactics. While it is safe to say that the advent of rotary-winged aircraft had a seminal impact on modern warfare, it had an even greater effect on the COIN battlefield. Combining both the advantages of the glider (concentration of force upon landing) and the parachute (vertical descent) and having none of their disadvantages, it changed the face of vertical envelopment overnight.

The Author, MARIUS WHITTLE, a South African paratrooper who served during South Africa’s Border War, has an Honours degree in Strategic Studies and a Masters degree in International Politics from the University of South Africa. Having published various articles, this is his first book. He is an accomplished public speaker on matters military. He lives and works in Pretoria.

Recce: A Collector's Guide to the History of the South African Special Forces
by Paul Matthysen, Matthew Kalkwarf, and Michael Huxtable

Hardcover – 15 January 2011
ISBN: 9781920143411
Pages: 304

This book has been some 15 years in the making and can claim, with some justification, to be the definitive publication on the ‘Recces’, unlikely to be topped for many, many years. The South African Special Forces have invariably been portrayed as a sinister force, used in covert operations locally and abroad but this is pure political expediency and media propaganda.

The unit’s operators are shy, humble soldiers, whose primary role is intelligence gathering, although they will take offensive action, ruthlessly, if necessary. Highly trained professionals in a class of their own, these elite troops have garnered for themselves an international reputation par excellence.

The Author, PAUL MATTHYSEN was an ex-army platoon sergeant in the infantry corps. Paul also trained with the Hunter Group. Being interested in things military from a young age, he became a specialist in the field of insignia and uniforms, especially South African militaria. His speciality is World War II German insignia, for which he has won numerous awards at various exhibitions. Paul lives in Johannesburg.

Peoples Apart: Israel, South Africa and the Apartheid Question
by Ilan Pappe

Paperback – 4 January 2011
ISBN: 9781845117214
Pages: 272

The word 'apartheid' evokes the ideology of racial segregation which dominated South Africa for so many years. Yet opinion-formers, including former US President Jimmy Carter, are increasingly using the word 'apartheid' to describe the situation of Arabs in Israel and the Occupied Territories. It is argued that even within Israel itself the Arab population is excluded from participation in civic life, and that the Palestinian enclaves created by the path of the 'security barrier' in the Occupied Territories are no more than modern day Bantustans.The use of the word 'apartheid' is highly emotive, and has serious implications for international policy. The concept lies at the heart of the growing trade union movement to boycott Israeli products. Yet in the heat of debate, no-one has unpacked the South Africa analogy, and brought on board the expertise of historians, lawyers, journalists and policymakers familiar with the politics of both countries. Now for the first time one of Israel's most celebrated academics, Ilan Pappe, has gathered together these perspectives in an accessible format which lays out the legal, political and social dimensions of apartheid, and provides an authoritative assessment of its relevance to Israel.

Domesticating a Religious Import: The Jesuits and the Inculturation of the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe, 1879-1980
by Nicholas M. Creary does not stock this item, at time of posting.

Hardcover – 3 January 2011
ISBN-10: 0823233340
ISBN-13: 978-0823233342

Hmmm, -- those crafty Jesuit priests!

Catholic theologians have developed the relatively new term "inculturation" to discuss the old problem of adapting the church universal to specific local cultures. Europeans needed a thousand years to inculturate Christianity from its Judaic roots. Africans' efforts to make the church their own followed a similar process but in less than a century. Until now, there has been no book-length examination of the Catholic church's pastoral mission in Zimbabwe or of African Christians' efforts to inculturate the church.

Ranging over the century after Jesuit missionaries first settled in what is now Zimbabwe, this enlightening book reveals two simultaneous and intersecting processes: the Africanization of the Catholic Church by African Christians and the discourse of inculturation promulgated by the Church. With great attention to detail, it places the history of African Christianity within the broader context of the history of religion in Africa. This illuminating work will contribute to current debates about the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe and throughout Africa.

Newmans Birds of South Africa: 10th Edition
by Kenneth Newman and Vanessa Newman

Paperback – 1 December 2010
ISBN: 9781770078765
Pages: 528

This commemorative tenth edition celebrates the contribution of the late author, Kenneth Newman, fully revised and updated by his daughter, Vanessa Newman, to reflect the latest research, taxonomy and common names. Newman's Birds of Southern Africa, a leading field guide in the region, illustrates and fully describes all the birds recorded from the Antarctic to the Zambezi River. The familiar, user-friendly format of Newman's Birds has been subtly modernized for a fresh look, and plate annotations have been added to the large, accurate paintings of each species, in line with modern trends.

KENNETH NEWMAN (1924 –2006), renowned bird painter and ornithologist, contributed significantly to the growing interest in, and awareness of, birds in southern Africa. His numerous books have a million copies worldwide. He served as president of the South African Ornithological Society and of BirdLife South Africa, and was a recipient of the SAOS Gill Memorial Award and the Zoological Society's Stevenson-Hamilton Award.

The daughter of Kenneth Newman, VANESSA NEWMAN is the editor of this latest edition of Newman's Birds.

Birth: The Conspiracy to Stop the '94 Election
by Peter Harris

Paperback – 15 November 2010
ISBN: 9781415201022
Pages: 320

In the early 1990s South Africa was repetitively rocked by violent incidents that often threatened to derail the delicate peace process and negotiations for a new state. Among these was a right-wing conspiracy to ruin the 1994 election by staging a coup d’etat from the northwest of the country, aided by mutinous elements in the SA Defence Force. Harris relates grippingly how some of the biggest bombs in the country’s history were exploded in the then Transvaal, and, with moving sympathy, the desperate plight of the right-wingers in their pitiful invasion of the then homeland of Bobhuthatswana.

But the biggest drama was perhaps the attempt to break into the electronic counting system of the election, for whose supervision Harris was responsible. Harris has one at the edge of one’s seat as he tells of the drama behind the scenes, eleventh-hour meetings with Mandela and de Klerk, the plans to make the results flow again, and of how closely the country steered away from disaster and ended giving itself a miracle result.

Nelson Mandela: A Force for Freedom
by Christina Scott

Hardcover – 1 November 2010
ISBN: 9780233003061
Pages: 176

I don’t know how many more books are going to be written about this unholy freedom-fighting black activist, but for the record – here’s another one:

Table of Contents:
  • Girding for Battle
  • I Have Crossed Famous Rivers
  • The People Shall Rule
  • The Winds of Change Blow - Backwards
  • The Attack of the Wild Beast
  • Esiquithini - At the Island
  • The Path to Freedom
  • I Feel Like an Old Battery That Has Been Recharged
  • President Nelson Mandela
  • I Can't Rest
  • Elder Statesman

Echoes of an African War
by Chas Lotter does not stock this item, at time of posting.

Hardcover – 15 October 2010
ISBN-10: 0620230916
ISBN-13: 978-0620230919
Pages: 204

The soldier poet of southern Africa matches his haunting poetry with authentic photos, paintings and sketches to tell the story of the Rhodesian bush war. 'Echoes of an African War' follows the story of the teenaged army recruit who exchanged his home and his family for the world of barrack life. It sketches the years, until 1973, when a low-intensity war allowed a young man to explore the African bush. The story then bursts into the late 1970s when the conflict escalated into a vicious civil war. It covers the war’s end, in 1980, and the subsequent readjustment to civilian life before finishing, in 1999, when, as a mature man, he looks back and remembers events that are now history. Most important of all, this work imparts to his children what it looks like to have been been a soldier in Rhodesia’s war. Chas Lotter has perfected the magic art of combining pathos and eeriness. His observations are canny and surgically precise as he gradually unfolds his story.

PK van der Byl: An African Diplomat
by Hannes Wessels

Paperback – 15 October 2010
ISBN: 9781920143497
Pages: 352

Historically relevant and important, with much previously unpublished political information, PK van de Byl's story is controversial, uncompromising and ‘in-your-face', but also eminently readable, laced with anecdotes and humour. The narrative gives the reader an overview of the history of the white man in southern Africa with detailed emphasis on the Rhodesian story through the life and times of PK van der Byl; one of the major players in a political drama that ended in the accession to power of Robert Mugabe under the auspices of the British government led by then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

By his very nature PK was controversial and confrontational. This account is likely to give offense to some because it portrays him as bluntly as he was in real life. Much can be contested about PK van der Byl but few will dispute he was an extremely colourful character with a devilish sense of humour. This memoir covers his life with a full flourish while doing nothing to detract from the seriousness of the international political and military conflict in which he was engaged. The reader will glean new information on a highly controversial subject and emerge with a more sympathetic understanding of what PK van der Byl and his colleagues did and strove for. The human tragedy that has followed the removal from power of Ian Smith and his Rhodesian Front party will almost certainly force the reader to deal with some uncomfortable conclusions, of value to anyone sincere about grappling with the volatile and deeply troubling challenges that confront all Africans today.

Standby!: South African Air Force Search and Rescue
by Brigadier-General Dick Lord

Paperback – 15 October 2010
ISBN: 9781920143442
Pages: 35

In the air force no mission receives greater priority than the mission of mercy. When lives are at stake all resources available are dedicated to the task. Aircrew, ground crew, paramedics, doctors, mountaineers, navy divers, policemen and trained civilian volunteers are rapidly organized into a rescue team and dispatched with all haste to the disaster scene. This requires training, preparedness, dedication, determination and courage. Rescue missions are often flown in weather conditions that would normally ground all aircraft. Scenarios are as diverse as high-rise fires, mountain, flood and maritime rescues, to white-outs in the snows of Antarctica. Originally published in 1999 as Fire, Flood and Ice, this updated edition includes yet more spectacular South African Air Force (SAAF) search and rescue missions, both military and civilian. Included is the remarkable rescue of all 581 people from the ill-fated liner Oceanos, for which the author was mentioned in dispatches for his role as commander of the rescue operation. Also new are heart-warming accounts of SAAF rescues during the devastating floods of 2000 in Mozambique, which captured the world's attention.

South Africa's Brave New World: The Beloved Country Since the End of Apartheid by R. W. Johnson

Hardcover – 30 September 2010
ISBN: 9781590204108
Pages: 720

The universal jubilation that greeted Nelson Mandela¹s inauguration of South Africa in 1994 and the banishment of apartheid is one of the most thrilling, hopeful stories in the modern era.

This book tells the story of South Africa from that magic period to the bitter disappointment of the present.

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