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Author: Ian Knight

Forces of the independent Zulu kingdom inflicted a crushing defeat on British imperial forces at Isandlwana in January 1879. The Zulu army was not, however, a professional force, unlike its British counterpart, but was the mobilized manpower of the Zulu state. Knight details how the Zulu army functioned and ties its role firmly to the broader context of Zulu society and culture.

A good, more thorough, review on Amazon: The book covers the rise of Shaka and his military reforms during the 19th century, and describes how the army functioned and its broader role in Zulu culture. The book includes many excellent b/w photos, maps and diagrams showing tactics and maneuver. Detailed information is provided on Zulu recruitment and training, and life in the military amabutho, or regiments.

The interesting aspect provided by Knight is the telling of the British invasion through the Zulu perspective. I also like the information provided on all the various individual regiments. The book is a little light in describing the actual Zulu martial art.

In the back of the book is a short and not too comprehensive glossary of Zulu military terms, a list of Zulu regiments, a list of major campaigns, a list of senior Zulu commanders from 1818-79, and a good 4.5-page bibliography. If you are interested in Zulu, I highly recommend this book.

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