Thank's Neil/ Frank, you both express your opinions well.
i could come across as a Morris apologist. which indeed
i am not! in my mind he has, and never has, anything to
apologize for.. it has however become a modern trend to
' knock ' Morris, when there are so many authors who truly
deserve a kick up the backside for either jumping on the
bandwagon, or more usually just for sloppy ineptitude...
When i read and digested your replies i recognized that you
both had agenda's, and not an agenda in the bad sense of
that phrase..you Neil have recently finished what i am sure
is a deep in depth study of the particular part of the great
war which was of interest to you..and you Frank undertake
to make people aware of everything topographically re-
garding the Isandhlwana Battlefield and surrounding area.
what i'm really tring to say is that you are both researchers
and historians in your own right, so maybe you at least would
acknowledge how much work Morris did..if only 10 per cent of
the book was accurately correct that still leaves the other 90.
below is part of another very recent opinion, that i agree with..
was working on it it was far more difficult to access the sources and
visit the sites than it is now, so it was a huge effort to attempt
anything that comprehensive. A lot of the sources in SA weren't
catalogued, and he had to do everything by writing letters - it's all
much easier now with the internet. He understood, too - and you have
touched on this - that iSandlwana and Rorke's Drift are part of a much
wider picture, and that you can't make sense of them without telling
something of the story of the rest of it. I do remember seeing him on a
TV interview years ago, talking about the Cold War - he said that the
CIA had completely missed the Russian intention to put up the Berlin
wall - 'we just looked out the office window one morning, and there it
was!' I always wanted to say to him 'that's because you were too busy
thinking about Zulus!'
I think it's all too easy to criticism him - he has been an
essential building block of our knowledge of the war. It's been easy to
climb over him - to some extent his success was his undoing, because it
stimulated a whole generation of historians who wanted to know more,
and could use him as a base to start from. It's much easier to climb
over somebody else than start from scratch!
The above was private to me, i leave it here hoping that i am not..out of
order reproducing that part. cheers Les