Book Review: Isandlwana 1879


by Edmund Yorke

Stroud, Glouc.: The History Press/Chicago: Independent Publishers Group, Trafalgar Square, 2011. Pp. 160. Illus., maps, append., biblio, index. $16.95. ISBN: 0752462011

An excellent account of the great Zulu victory over the invading British in 1879, one of the greatest upsets in the age of European imperialism in Africa.

Yorke, a Lecturer at the Royal Military College, who has also written a companion volume Rorke's Drift and other works, opens with a lean, but very good account of the origins of the Anglo-Zulu War.  He follows this with an overview of the two military systems, and then takes a look at the initial movements during the opening phase of the war.  Yorke then gives us a very good, succinct account of the battle in about 60 pages. He manages to touch upon all the critical events, and brings into his treatment valuable new evidence (e.g., the famous ammunition supply problem was not as has traditionally been described).  Yorke ends the book with an analysis of the lessons learned and a discussion of the legacy of the battle. 

A volume in The History Press series “Battle Story”, even those well read in the history of the Zulu War will find this book, worthwhile, and it would make an excellent introduction for the novice.     
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Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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