Myth of Iron: Shaka in History
Myth of Iron: Shaka in history is the first book-length scholarly study to be published. It lays out, as far as possible, all the available evidence mainly hitherto under-utilised Zulu oral testimonies, supported by other documentary sources and decides, item by item, legend by legend, what exactly we can know about Shaka’s reign. The picture that emerges in this meticulously researched and absorbing anti-biography is very different from the popular narrative we are used to. Over the decades we have heard a great deal about Shaka, the most famous or infamous of Zulu leaders. It may come as a surprise, therefore, that we do not know when he was born, nor what he looked like, nor precisely when or why he was assassinated. In Shaka’s case, even these most basic facts of any person’s biography remain locked in obscurity.