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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

496 pages, 7 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-749-1 $145.00/£107.00 Hb Not Yet Published (June 2021)

eISBN 978-1-78920-750-7 eBook Not Yet Published

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Recommend to your Library Available 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


Though envisioned by its overseers as a “model state,” German Southwest Africa never became the success story colonial officials hoped for. Despite the immiseration they inflicted upon the indigenous population—from exploitative labor practices to genocidal violence—the colony lasted only thirty-five years and yielded little for the metropole before being lost to the British Empire. In this now-classic study—available here for the first time in English—the author provides an indispensable account of how German colonial ambitions foundered in what is present-day Namibia. As he shows, the highly rationalized planning of Wilhelmine authorities could not accommodate the practical, lived realities of both colonizer and colonized.

Jürgen Zimmerer is Professor of History at the University of Hamburg and President of the International Network of Genocide Scholars.

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