To this day these opening lines of a folksong dating from the beginning of this century are well-known among Russians. It is the most popular Russian song about a foreign country (p. 250). It was once sung everywhere in Russia by monarchists, liberals and revolutionaries alike (p. 252), and remained popular long after the end of the South African War. The poet Mikhail Isakovsky wrote in his memoirs that, as a young boy, although he knew nothing about a country called the Transvaal, he would sing this song loudly while walking in the fields and that it touched him to the depths of his soul (p. 254).
Reviewed by Kobus du Pisani (Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education)Published on H-Africa (March, 1999) http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=2919
To the palate accustomed to the dry, astringent wine served up by British historians, Davidson's brew may seem a little heady, but to the ordinary reader it will make refreshing change and the scholarly value of the book is in no way diminished by his method. (The Sunday Mail, Harare.)
The editors havemade a judicious selection of 193 primary documents from the Comintern's archive that carry the story of South African communism from its birth to the end of the 1930s. The documents are transcribed into English, provided with precise citations, obscure names and pseudonyms identified, and distant events and organizations described... John Earl Haynes