Boer War Historiographic Trends: Common Trauma

  • 2012

Boer War Historiographic Trends: Common Trauma

Author:
Dave Burford
Abstract:

This historiographic essay examines English-language-journal articles relating to the largely forgotten Boer War (1899–1902), also known as the Second Anglo-Boer War, to expose new scholarship aimed at preserving historical truth while avoiding igniting social unrest. Course requirements excluded books and monographs from discussion and restricted prose length to 12 pages.

The paper divides Boer War historiography into two categories: traditional and nontraditional interpretations further categorized based on how the war was treated by the historian. In addition, the impact of South African centennial commemorations (1999) on historical investigation is explicitly analyzed. The paper demonstrates that the role and value of historical investigation extends well beyond narrative and interpretation of events because it illuminates the symbiotic impact of current events and socio-cultural trends on historical work.