He applied the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, Making Empire: Colonial Encounters and the Creation of Imperial Rule in Nineteenth-Century Africa, and reported the following:
If you open my book, Making Empire: Colonial Encounters and the Creation of Imperial Rule in Nineteenth-Century Africa, at page 99 you will find part of a story about a nineteenth century African chief. His name was Maqoma, and he was a member of the Xhosa peoples who occupied the south eastern part of what is today South Africa. The story concerns his relationship with two missionaries, James Read and Henry Calderwood. On the same page you will also find a brief account of Maqoma’s negotiations with the British imperial state, and the page ends with the opening sentences of an account of how missionaries and other agents of the British colonial presence sought to understand the Xhosa peoples that they encountered in the eastern part of the Cape Colony in the first half of the nineteenth century.Visit Richard Price's faculty webpage, and learn more about Making Empire at the Cambridge University Press website.
Those stores capture the key themes that run through my book. I called the book “Making Empire” because it tells how the British came to rule the Xhosa peoples of Southern Africa. And the first words of its subtitle, “Colonial Encounters,” suggest that this process happened through the interactions between British missionaries, colonial officers, military men and others.
The stories of encounter that form the core of the book were researched in Cape Town and elsewhere. I wanted to understand the process by which an empire was created. I was fortunate enough to find records that detailed what the missionaries and others were thinking as they tried to deal with the complexities of Xhosa politics and culture, and as they were driven to conclude that the only way to deal with these people was to subdue and subjugate them to British rule.