“I’m not a professional historian,” says Richard Steyn. “I try to get to the essence. Not in order to justify or judge, but to explain.” In this case, he wants to clarify the decade to 1950, starting with SA’s parliamentary decision on September 4 1939 — by a small margin — to go to war on the side of Britain. 

For an amateur historian, Steyn’s oeuvre is impressive; we’re discussing Seven Votes, his fourth book focused on the country’s flux in the first half of the 20th century...

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