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Author Profile: Charles van Onselen


Charles van Onselen was educated at the Universities of Rhodes and Oxford. He has written extensively on 19th and 20th century South Africa. In 1983, his work on the social and economic history of the Witwatersrand won the Trevor Reese Memorial Prize for outstanding achievement in Commonwealth and Imperial history.

Van Onselen is a well-known critic of Afrikaner nationalism whose earlier works include Chibaro: African Mine Labour in Southern Rhodesia, 1890-1914 and The Small Matter of a Horse: the Life of Nongoloza Mathebula, 1869-1948 and New Babylon, New Nineveh. In 1995, his biography of the life and times of Kas Maine, a black sharecropper, The Seed is Mine, won the Alan Paton Award for non-fiction. He is currently research professor in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Pretoria.



1. Charles van Onselen, Jonathan Ball Publishers. Accessed 10 January 2013

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