Raiders of the Lost Empire

F. Roger Devlin reviews Dan Roodt’s book, Raiders of the Lost Empire: South Africa’s ‘English’ Identity:

It may surprise American readers to know that for most of South Africa’s history, the “race problem” referred to friction between the British and the Dutch/Afrikaners. AR contributor and conference speaker Dan Roodt’s new book describes how that older conflict paved the way for black rule, and how it now contributes to the campaign against the one authentic white identity in South Africa: that of the Afrikaners. Dr. Roodt, himself an Afrikaner, paints a haunting picture of a genuine white nation, with no home but Africa, under assault not only from blacks but from the entire English-speaking world.

The first Dutch emigrants settled near the Cape of Good Hope in 1652, and today’s Afrikaners are descended from about 40,000 Dutchmen, Germans and Frenchmen who were already established in South Africa by the 18th Century. By the time the British arrived in the 19th century, the earlier settlers had blended to form a nation with a unified consciousness and a language of their own that was already different from Dutch. To this day, for the majority of whites in South Africa, Afrikaans is the language of the heart, of memory, of the countryside, of their ancestors…

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