Book Review Series 1: Shaka

Shaka Zulu

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The Zulu King

To quote an early saying I once heard from Benny Hill: “The more you learn, the more you learn there is to learn.” This is definitely the case when it comes to writing. Indeed, as I write more and more, I have come to find that there are more and more techniques with which to write. That is why I decided to start closely analyzing other peoples’ writings to find the valuable parts of them that I can learn from.

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Cracking The Surface

However, in so doing, I have found many great books that are noteworthy either for their dramatic and engaging content, or their writing style, or their ability to make you see outside of the box in ways you hadn’t imagined. Dan Wylie’s Shaka is one of these as it makes you question the sources of many of the writings we may at first sight see as coherent fact. Indeed, it is only when we take a closer look that we start to spot the holes and contradictions in history. With Shaka in particular, the author manages to prove why it is necessary to question and to look further than the surface.

He analyzes in depth the authors of history and takes on how the world has interpreted them, in all forms of media (film, books, television…), and reflects on the question: With so many biases and misrepresentations, who was the real Shaka, and what do we know about him today that is really true? This pure-hearted goal is something he successfully achieves, causing a revelation amongst readers.
To see exactly what makes Dan Wylie’s book such a great piece of historical writing, you can read more about Shaka here.

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