Stuart Cloete (1897-1976) was a South African novelist, essayist, biographer and short story writer. Many of his 14 novels and most of his short stories are historically based fictional adventures, set against the backdrop of major African, mostly South African historical events. Apart from Turning Wheels, another prominent novel, 1963's Rags of Glory, is set during the Boer War. Rags of War is an epic novel of these South African Wars. The Boer Wars were actually two wars fought during 1880-1881 and 1899-1902 by the British Empire against the Dutch settlers of two independent Boer republics, the Oranje Vrijstaat (Orange Free State) and the Republiek van Transvaal (Transvaal Republic). They are sometimes referred to as "the South African War" since the black population of South Africa was also involved in the conflicts. The First Anglo-Boer War (1880-1881), was a rebellion of Boers (farmers) against British rule in the Transvaal that re-established their independence. The Second War (1899-1902), by contrast, was a lengthy war-involving large numbers of troops from many British possessions, which ended with the conversion of the Boer republics into British colonies. During the later stages of the Second Boer War, the British pursued the policy of rounding up and isolating the Boer civilian population in concentration camps with little food or hygiene, one of the earliest uses of this method by modern powers.The U.S. Army uses several case studies from the Boer War to teach ethics in combat. The Saturday Review said "A muscular historical novel that not only brings to life the explosive action of the fighting but also provides a rich social document of the people, traditions, and, above all, the national mentalities that made the war inevitable. It holds up superbly as a robust cyclorama of an age that was more virile than many realise.'
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Used availability for Stuart Cloete's Rags of Glory
October 1983 : UK Hardback
December 1963 : UK Hardback
June 1963 : Hardback
June 1973 : USA Paperback
December 1968 : UK Paperback