James A. Michener’s masterly chronicle of South Africa is an epic tale of adventurers, scoundrels, and ministers, the best and worst of two continents. The Covenant All study of South Africa leads any outsider with sensibility to be appalled by the horrific institution of apartheid, which in. Collaborating on a manuscript with James A. Michener In his notes on the manuscript of The Covenant, Jim has this to say about our sessions together.

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We did this but it soon became evident that the drastic changes needed for The Collector would impact the story line. Sarah was when she died and Abraham took a se4cond wife, Keturah. Dec 02, Nancy Chappell rated it really liked it.


On the contrary, Ritter stresses: Certainly the last time I read micheneer was many, many years ago. I wish my school history books had been written like this, with the insertion of fictional characters to bring story and life into what is normally a dull narrative. Oh look, I have a thesaurus. Covejant, I did not want to use the word epic to describe this novel, but I realized that there isn’t another jajes that would describe it adequately.

In any case, Michener is using his familiar approach here: There was a fundamental flaw in this idea, which I discussed in my research report: The English, who arrive inare more interested in empire and the abolition of slavery, while the blacks simply want their land back, and the Coloureds reflect the sin of miscegenation.

There are many characters in this novel, as it spans hundreds of years.

But being taught in a novel format with relatable characters, I couldn’t stop listening and I can recall most of the history with relative accuracy of more or less which years that happened.

But the records show that there was a lively belief in witchcraft and sorcery; those accused were often tortured to obtain a confession, for the life of the victim was held to depend on such confession, and those convicted were killed. The people and their struggles and the values that drove them enrich the story and add the personal touch to the sweeping changes James Michener’s epic book on South-Africa.


Chinese were brought in as cheap labour, and then expelled. The fictional Saltwood family represents the English settlement of the area. Your email address will not be published.

Deficiency was worst in education. I don’t think this cofenant Michener’s best novel – I’d say Hawaii, followed closely by The Source – are his best works, but this is certainly a book worth reading.

The experiences of the fictional van Doorn family illustrate the Dutch and Huguenot heritage of South Africa, and in the s also illustrate the differences between liberal and conservative Afrikaners. The British are no better and open concentration camps at the end of the Boer War mihcener many women and children die of typhoid, dysentery and other diseases. I’m glad I re-read this.

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Jun 30, Rebekah rated it it was ok Recommended to Rebekah by: Please provide an email address. Mission failed, promise to self br I promised myself when I considered writing a review of this gigantic tome Get unlimited Monitor journalism.

In fact he overdoes it — great dollops of history that tend to clog the flow of the story.

The Covenant by James Michener–a review, and a rant, too

Michener suggests that the Afrikaner oppression of Blacks was partly due to Dutch animosity towards the English, who assumed political and financial control of southern Africa in and fought against the traditional way of life, including slaverypursued by Afrikaner farmers, or Boers. A bible of a book – both in terms of size and contents – that retells the history of South Africa through the stories of both fictitous and historic characters.

Having said all that though, I did not like that you could not connect with ANY characters in the book. View all 8 comments. Michener As the time approached for our joint sessions on the manuscript, I knew Michener and I faced ja,es long, hard trek. This is a difficult book to jsmes. I knew what I had to do but remember sitting there and worrying about Michener’s reaction: The First Anglo-Boer War —was a rebellion of Boers farmers against British rule in the Transvaal that re-established their independence.


Would have liked to know how the book’s characters thought and reacted to these changes in the structure of their society. Michener also did a whizzbang job fictionally painting why the New World developed one way and South Africa went another way. Read it Forward Read it first. You either need to be a big lover of history, or have a direct correlation to the history of South Africa. English settlers figured more and more powerfully into the South African politics and landscape.

The Covenant by James A. Michener | : Books

Luckily, I have the advantage of knowing their future — they don’t win. I thought I would re-read some.

Daniel Nxumalo, non-violent black activist, will be tried for high treason. Bushmen of the Kalahari” visits the troubled San community whose once thriving culture is now facing extinction.

And, so, too, the mutilation.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. I proposed that “The Collector” become “Old Seeker,” an ambassador at large, an explorer, a seeker, who takes the chief’s boy to Zimbabwe, not as satrap’s son but a young man out to discover one of the wonders of his world in I promised myself when I considered writing a review of this gigantic tome The perception created by Apartheid propaganda was that black and white people never mingled.