DF Malan and the Rise of Afrikaner Nationalism | Biography: Historical, Political & Military
The Dutch Reformed minister DF Malan led the Afrikaners to victory in 1948 and instituted the policy of apartheid. Today grim-faced photographs of NP leaders like Malan and his successors have come to symbolise a system of racial oppression, which dehumanised and impoverished the majority of South Africa’s population.
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Yet, when Malan was asked on his deathbed about the most important service he had rendered during his political career, he answered, ‘that I could serve my nation; that I could unite my people’. This biography tries to understand this dichotomy: how a man who earnestly sought to unite and to protect a people could also contribute to a legacy that continues to scar a country.
The book introduces the reader to Malan the man: the shy, bookish young boy, the distracted intellectual who once left home with his slippers on, the uncertain lover and the thinker who spent hours preparing his speeches, first for church sermons and then for parliamentary debates.
The rise in Afrikaner nationalism in the years after the Anglo-Boer War offers the backdrop to Malan’s personal and political life. This growing movement spurs him on to leave the church to become editor of Die Burger and provincial leader of the National Party. This book therefore also offers a gripping behind-the-scenes account of Afrikaner nationalist politics.
Not only for history buffs, this is a fresh account of an old history.
Also available in Afrikaans: DF Malan en die opkoms van Afrikaner-nasionalisme