Bringers of War
The Portuguese in Africa during the Age of Gunpowder and Sail
Long before steamships and machine-tooled artillery, the Portuguese established an empire in Africa, capturing trading towns, seizing slaves and plundering mineral riches. This impeccably researched history describes how, between the 15th and the late 18th centuries, they fought their ancient Muslim foes, overthrew African kingdoms and resisted Dutch, Omani and Ottoman rivals in a quest for wealth and power as ruthless as the Spanish conquests in the Americas.
Lords of the Sea
A History of the Barbary Corsairs
Raids in the seas off Somalia have brought piracy back into the headlines, but the problem is nothing new; for three centuries North African pirates terrorized shipping throughout the Mediterranean. This first full history examines their dramatic impact, first as agents of the Ottoman Empire in the 1500s and then independently. Raiding as far as Iceland, they remained a problem until the early 19th century, when action by the young United States of America finally brought them to heel.
A Rainbow in the Night
The Tumultuous Birth of South Africa
The Dutch farmers who first settled the southern tip of Africa were sent to grow vegetables for ships rounding the Cape. But fired by their Calvinist faith, they came to see themselves as God's chosen rulers of the continent, subjugating its inhabitants and defying the might of the British Empire. Dominique Lapierre recounts the epic saga that ensued, from the rise of the apartheid state to the freedom struggle that gave birth to today's rainbow nation. Slightly off-mint.
Ending the African Slave Trade
Long after slavery was abolished in the British Empire, the trade continued along the east coast of Africa – and many of the ships involved were British. The Royal Navy dispatched a squadron to stamp out the practice – only to come into conflict with wealthy merchants at home. Based on archival research and written with great narrative verve, this is the story of how a coalition of naval officers and abolitionists finally forced the government to act.