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EXCERPT | ‘A very dangerous man’ – Jan Smuts’s view of Alfred Milner

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Milner: Last of the Empire-Builders by Richard Steyn.
Milner: Last of the Empire-Builders by Richard Steyn.

BOOK: Milner: Last of the Empire-Builders by Richard Steyn.

Sent to Southern Africa to bring Transvaal President Paul Kruger’s obstreperous Boers to heel, Alfred Milner was primarily, though not solely, responsible for the outbreak of the Boer War, writes Richard Steyn in his biography Milner: Last of the Empire-Builders (Jonathan Ball). In this excerpt, Milner has talks with Kruger – but what was Milner’s real aim?

At this year’s Franschhoek Literary Festival, Steyn talks to World War II historian Jonathan Dimbleby on 14 May at 1pm, and at 4pm discusses the scramble for South Africa with Nick Dall and Matthew Blackman, authors of Rogues’ Gallery and Spoilt Ballots. 

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