An African Trading Empire: The Story of Susman Brothers & Wulfsohn, 1901-2005

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Bloomsbury Academic, May 27, 2005 - Business & Economics - 492 pages
Kinship and partnership united Elie and Harry Susman when they crossed the Zambezi from the south in 1901 and travelled north to buy cattle from King Lewanika in Barotseland. The result was a remarkable family business, Susman Brothers and Wulfsohn, that has flourished for over a century in some of the most logistically difficult, physically challenging and politically problematic environments in the world. An African Trading Empire is a unique diaspora story set against the backdrop of the great themes of European and African history from the Jewish persecution in Europe through colonial Africa to the triumph of African nationalism and decolonization.

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As the author of this book I would like to respond to the comment of Mrs Elna Janse van Rensburg. She is quite right - I did confuse the names Van Rensburg and Van der Merwe on page 353 of this book and I apologise for that. The book has been out now for eight years and this is the first serious error that has been brought to my attention. I am afraid it's not possible to publish a 500 page book without making some mistakes and I don't think one mistake makes the book worthless! I especially remember the interview that I did with Mrs Van Rensburg's husband's aunt, Mrs Edwardina Neethling , and I am sorry that I got her father's name wrong.
Hugh Macmillan

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Congratulations with a book with incorrect information in it!
The author of this book stayed with Shirley Mee which is also the Financial Director of the American International School Lusaka. She
new of my connection with the Van Rensburg Family and arranged a meeting with my husband, Fanie Janse van Rensburg.
The author of the book was in my house and that of my husband’s aunt to interview them about land that my husband’s grandfather purchased form the Susman Brothers. I was present at one of the meetings and my husband referred the author to his aunt regarding the sale of the Susman’s, or Leopard’s Hill Ranch, and still he recorded the names involved in this transaction incorrectly.
My husband, Fanie Janse van Rensburg, is the grandson of Stephanus Louwrens Janse van Rensburg also know as Fanie Janse van Rensburg and Edwardina Neethling is the daughter of Fanie Janse van Renburg. How is it possible that he, the author, could make such a mistake, to say the buyer of the farm was Fanie van der Merwe????
See Chapter 19: Farms and Ranches 1945-93.
Please correct this otherwise this book is really worth nothing!
Elna Janse van Rensburg
Teacher at AISL and wife of the grandson of Fanie Janse van Rensburg

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About the author (2005)

Hugh Macmillan is an established historian of Africa who was Professor of History at the University of Transkei, South Africa, and has taught at universities in Zambia and Swaziland. He is the author of Zion in Africa (I.B.Tauris).

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