The World Cup spotlight turns to South Africa

History of South Africa: Leonard Thompson With the 2010 FIFA World Cup little more than a week away, host country South Africa is putting the finishing touches on preparations that began more than six years ago. The decision to stage the competition in South Africa is an historic one, as it represents the first time an African nation was chosen as the host country since the tournament was inaugurated in 1930.

The World Cup also represents a significant step for South Africa as a nation. Once mired in racial and political struggle, South Africa has stabilized significantly in recent years. Though the stadium construction process has not been without its controversies, South Africa can feel rightly proud of how far it has come when the nation’s team kicks off against Mexico on June 11.

For any soccer fan in need of a primer on the history of the 2010 Cup’s host country, Leonard Thompson’s The History of South Africa is essential reading. If you’re watching the Cup at home, pick up a copy to read between matches.

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