The Washing of the Spears

By Donald R. Morris,

Book cover of The Washing of the Spears: The Rise and Fall of the Zulu Nation

Book description

Filled with colourful characters, dramatic battles like Isandhlwana and Rorke's Drift, and an inexorable narrative momentum, this unsurpassed history details the sixty-year existence of the world's mightiest African empire,from its brutal formation and zenith under the military genius Shaka (1787-1828), through its inevitable collision with white expansionism, to its dissolution…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

1 author picked The Washing of the Spears as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is a big book, thoroughly researched but accessibly written. Morris has a military background and sees things from a strategic perspective. He wrote this book at almost the same time as Ritter’s biography of Shaka but his focus was subtly different. He seeks to evaluate not just Shaka’s nation-building but what followed, most especially the Anglo-Zulu war that culminated in the destruction of the Zulu military at Isandhlwana. As such, this book serves as a perfect companion piece to Ritter’s work. I enjoyed the immersive nature of Morris’s account as it spanned most of the nineteenth century. It gives…

From Gareth's list on Shaka, founder of the Zulu nation.

Want books like The Washing of the Spears?

Our community of 10,000+ authors has personally recommended 58 books like The Washing of the Spears.

Browse books like The Washing of the Spears

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Zulu people, the Zulu Kingdom, and the British Empire?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Zulu people, the Zulu Kingdom, and the British Empire.

The Zulu People Explore 9 books about the Zulu people
The Zulu Kingdom Explore 12 books about the Zulu Kingdom
The British Empire Explore 50 books about the British Empire