A Rainbow in the Night: The Tumultuous Birth of South Africa by Dominique LaPierre, is a fantastic non-fictional history on the region.
Before reading this book, I knew next to nothing about the nation of South Africa. For me, the first word that comes to mind when the country is mentioned is “apartheid”, without really knowing much beyond that. A Rainbow in the Night does devote a great amount of time to the subject of apartheid, and much of the detail is a shocking proof of what human’s are capable of doing to one another, (particularly when driven by a religious sense of entitlement.)
This book surprisingly comes in at less than 300 pages. I say it’s surprising because it seems to cover every inch of South Africa’s very interesting and unique history, (white people came to settle in the area because they wanted to plant lettuce that would be available to crews from spice ships suffering from scurvy.)
Recounting history with names, dates and events can easily become tedious, but LaPierre manages to write an informative book that reads like fiction.
If you want to know more about the country of South Africa, this book is a fantastic choice to give you a well-rounded history very quickly.