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German Rule, African Subjects: State Aspirations and the Reality of Power in Colonial Namibia

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German Rule, African Subjects

State Aspirations and the Reality of Power in Colonial Namibia

Jürgen Zimmerer

Translated from the German by Anthony Mellor-Stapelberg

440 pages, 7 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-749-1 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (June 2021)

eISBN 978-1-78920-750-7 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit  Buy the eBook! $45.00info on epub formatRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®

With a new Preface by the Author


Praise for the German Edition:
“[Zimmerer] traces the history and origins of racial, labor, and population regulations throughout the entire history of the German occupation, showing that they were not peripheral but absolutely central to the entire enterprise … The most detailed view to date of the operations and mind of the German colonial administration.” • The American Historical Review

“Zimmerer’s book will be the point of reference for all historical work dealing with Namibian history in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.” • Journal of African History

“Very impressive … Zimmerer clearly delineates the objectives, policies, successes, and failures of German efforts to control and exploit the native population.” • German Studies Review


Although it lasted only thirty years, German colonial rule dramatically transformed South West Africa. The colonial government not only committed the first genocide of the twentieth century against the Herero and Nama, but in their efforts to establish a “model colony” and “racial state,” they brought about even more destructive and long-lasting consequences. In this now-classic study—available here for the first time in English—the author provides an indispensable account of Germany's colonial utopia in what is present-day Namibia, showing how the highly rationalized planning of Wilhelmine authorities ultimately failed even as it added to the profound immiseration of the African population.

Jürgen Zimmerer is Professor of History at the University of Hamburg and was Founding President of the International Network of Genocide Scholars (INOGS).

Subject: Colonial HistoryHistory: 20th Century to Present
Area: Africa


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