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The Triumph of Seretse Khama and His Nation

Book - 2016
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London, 1945: the heir apparent to the kingship of Bechuanaland (later Botswana) arrives in Britain to complete his legal studies. Seretse Khama, an urbane 24-year-old, educated like Mandela at Fore Hare, is welcomed into the elite world of the Inner Temple in London. But then, in 1947, he does something that will change the course of his life, and that of his country, forcing him into six long years of exile: he falls in love with a white British woman, Ruth Williams. Drawing on a mass of previously classified records, Susan Williams tells Seretse and Ruth's story--an astonishing account of how the British Government conspired with apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia to prevent the mixed-race royal couple returning home. This is a shocking account of a shameful period of British history: overt racism on the streets of London and the corridors of Whitehall, and of appeasement to apartheid South Africa. But it is also an inspiring, triumphant tale of hope, courage, and true love, as with tenacity and great dignity Seretse and Ruth and the Bangwato people overcome prejudice in their fight for justice.

Publisher: London, Penguin Books,, 2016
ISBN: 9780141985701
Characteristics: xxiii, 407 pages ; 20 cm.

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Liber_vermis
Apr 23, 2018

This biography starts slowly but moves rapidly after Seretse Khama and his wife Ruth are banished to England for five years. The duplicity of the British government and colonial administrators contrasts with the peaceful civil disobedience of the Bangwato people to regain their chief. This biography is complimented by about 20 black and white photographs; end notes on sources; a lengthy bibliography; and an index.

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jo_towler
Jan 25, 2018

This account of history in my own lifetime has opened my eyes to the dishonesty of some civil servants and politicians and their racial prejudices in regard to Africa and the British colonies. The white races owe a huge debt to African people.

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Liber_vermis
Apr 23, 2018

In the decade after the Second World War, the Soviet Union detonated an atomic bomb to initiate the Arms Race and the Cold War. This race depended on uranium - and a major source for the British nuclear arsenal was white ruled South Africa. When the heir to a Chieftancy in British-administered Bechuanaland (later Botswana) married a white English woman, the South African government feared domestic civil unrest. Their pressure on the British government resulted in the banishment of Seretse Khama to England for five years. This meticulous biography reveals the broad-based efforts to seek Khama's restoration to his homeland. It is a powerful story of racial discrimination, colonial exploitation, and political duplicity - and in the end of deep and abiding love between a black man and a white woman.

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