A Rainbow in the Night: The Tumultuous Birth of South Africa by Dominique Lapierre

By Dominique Lapierre

In 1652 a small crew of Dutch farmers landed at the southernmost tip of Africa. despatched by means of the strong Dutch India corporation, their undertaking was once just to develop greens and provide ships rounding the cape. The colonists, notwithstanding, have been confident by way of their strict Calvinist religion that they have been between God’s “Elect,” selected to rule over the continent. Their saga—bloody, ferocious, and fervent—would culminate 3 centuries later in a single of the best tragedies of background: the institution of a racist regime during which a white minority could subjugate and victimize thousands of blacks. known as apartheid, it used to be a toxic procedure that will merely finish with the liberation from felony of 1 of the ethical giants of our time, Nelson Mandela.
A Rainbow within the Night is Dominique Lapierre’s epic account of South Africa’s tragic historical past and the heroic males and women—famous and vague, white and black, eu and African—who have, with their blood and tears, dropped at lifestyles the rustic that's this day often called the Rainbow state.

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What did they think he was paid for? To be killed by bombshells? Not he. He would not stay another minute. It looked as if his excitement and misery—he was dazed by the blow on his head—would prevent him from working the engine further, and as only he understood the machinery all chances of escape seemed to be cut off. Yet when I told this man that if he continued to stay at his post he would be mentioned for distinguished gallantry in action, he pulled himself together, wiped the blood off his face, climbed back into the cab of his engine, and thereafter during the one-sided combat did his duty bravely and faithfully—so strong is the desire for honour and repute in the human breast.

Little is as yet to be seen, and the Karroo remains unsympathetic. But all along the southern frontier of the Free State the expectation of early collision grows. The first sign after leaving Capetown is the Proclamation against treason published by Sir Alfred Milner. The notice-boards of the railway stations are freely placarded with the full text in English and Dutch, beginning with “Whereas a state of war exists between the Government of her Majesty and the Governments of the South African Republic and of the Orange Free State .

Then two much larger flashes; no smoke nor yet any sound, and a bustle and stir among the little figures. So much for the hill. Immediately over the rear truck of the train a huge white ball of smoke sprang into being and tore out into a cone like a comet. Then came the explosions of the near guns and the nearer shell. The iron sides of the truck tanged with a patter of bullets. There was a crash from the front of the train and half a dozen sharp reports. The Boers had opened fire on us at 600 yards with two large field guns, a Maxim firing small shells in a stream, and from riflemen lying on the ridge.

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