Donal McCrackenDonal McCracken was born and educated in Ireland. Having been dean of humanities for many years, he is a senior professor of history in the Centre for Communication, Media and Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. His books include Gardens of Empire: Botanical Institutions of the Victorian British Empire (University of Leicester Press/Cassell), MacBride’s Brigade: Irish Commandos in the Anglo–Boer War (Four Courts Press), Forgotten Protest: Ireland and the Anglo–Boer War (Ulster Heritage Foundation), Saving the Zululand Wilderness: An Early Struggle for Nature Conservation (Jacana) and Inspector Mallon: Buying Irish Patriotism for a Five-Pound Note (Irish Academic Press). He is editor of the series, Southern African–Irish Studies. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and sometime chair of the Alan Paton Centre and Struggle Archives Advisory Board and of the Durban Botanic Gardens Trust. He is a former Irish universities’ debating champion and South African Genealogist of the Year. Having lived through the worst of the Northern Ireland ‘troubles’ and then witnessed the closing years of the South African struggle against apartheid, Donal McCracken holds strongly to the axiom that people are generally better than their opinions. His interest in war stems not from any fascination with armaments, strategy or perceived heroism but rather from the fact that war creates extraordinary and unique situations where ordinary people must often question and even sacrifice their established norms and certainties.