De Boerenoorlog by Martin Bossenbroek

By Martin Bossenbroek

Oorsprong van de apartheid. Eerste mediaoorlog. Voorproefje van de Eerste én de Tweede Wereldoorlog. De Boerenoorlog (1899-1902) behoort tot de meest intrigerende conflicten in de moderne geschiedenis. Het verschil in prestige tussen supermacht Groot- Brittannië en de twee nietige Boerenrepublieken Transvaal en Oranje Vrijstaat, bewoond door afstammelingen van Nederlandse kolonisten, used to be bizar groot. Toch moesten de Britten heel ver gaan om de oorlog te winnen, tot en met systematische terreur tegen de burgerbevolking.

De Boeren leken ten onder te gaan, als tragische helden van een afgesloten tijdperk. Maar na het verlies van de oorlog wonnen ze de vrede. Ze herschiepen Zuid-Afrika in een land van blanke meesters en zwarte knechten. Na het einde van de apartheid werden de rollen omgedraaid. Opnieuw lijken de Boeren ten onder te gaan, nu als tragische schurken. Alle aanleiding om terug te kijken op de oorlog die Zuid-Afrika verscheurde, tot op de dag van vandaag.

Martin Bossenbroek, auteur van historische klassiekers als Holland op zijn Breedst en De Meelstreep, vertelt het hele verhaal, inclusief de cruciale Nederlandse inbreng. Hij verplaatst zich in alle partijen en volgt drie kleurrijke hoofdpersonen op de voet: de Nederlandse jurist Willem Leyds, de Engelse oorlogsverslaggever Winston Churchill en de Boerencommando Deneys Reitz. Nooit eerder werd de Boerenoorlog zo compleet en zo beeldend beschreven.

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What? ” Pawlenty looked crestfallen. He explained that he had just learned that the campaign was more than a half million dollars in the red. Mary Pawlenty believed that Ayers had flat-out lied about the campaign debt. ) The campaign office had been so dysfunctional in the early going that Pawlenty probably would have fired Ayers, but Ayers had been on the campaign such a short time that it would have made the candidate look weak. * * * Ed Rollins, Michele Bachmann’s chief strategist, remained skeptical even after he was retained.

At least since Theodore White began his Making of the President series in 1960, Americans have tended to see campaigns for the White House in the most ancient of narrative terms, as an odyssey in which the protagonists undergo a series of tests in search of the ultimate prize. ”) In this first installment of the Playbook 2012 eBook series, the seekers range from Obama himself, in the White House amid crisis after crisis, to Mitt Romney, shrewdly staying out of the second-by-second Web wars while slowly building support the old-fashioned way: Lincoln Day dinner by Lincoln Day dinner, congressional-race funder appearance by congressional-race funder appearance.

And there were the flavors of the month (or week), manifestations of a profound American uneasiness with the pervasive sense of drift and decline that Obama has failed to change. The experiences of men such as Haley Barbour and Tim Pawlenty shed light on the perils, absurdities, and realities of running for the highest office. Campaigns are the most human of undertakings—exhausting and brutal, yet thrilling and irresistible. The rebirth of the right is an extraordinary tale. By historical standards it was a rapid shift, on par with the 1966 conservative backlash against Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society after the 1964 landslide.

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